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Traditional basmati prices dip 20%; total export seen at 3 MT

Chandigarh: Prices of traditional basmati paddy crop fell by 20% this season compared to last year's prices, even as the country's total basmati rice export is projected at 3 million tonne (MT), reports PTI.

“The main reason behind fall in traditional basmati crop was major expansion of area under basmati cultivation in both Punjab and Haryana states this Kharif season,” All India Rice Exporters Association Vijay Setia told PTI today.

With overall area under basmati crop in the country increasing by 28%, area under basmati crop in Punjab and Haryana jumped to 7 lakh hectares each.

Last year, area under basmati in Punjab and Haryana was 6.5 lakh hectares and 3.92 lakh hectares, respectively.

Rates of traditional basmati paddy crop like HBC 19, Taroari are ruling at Rs 24-Rs27 per kg against prices of Rs 34-Rs35 per kg last year in the spot market, traders said.

The prices of popular basmati PUSA 1121, however, are up by 10% compared to last year because of good export demand.

PUSA 1121 was selling at Rs 20-Rs24 per kg against Rs 18-Rs20 per kg sold last year. Notably, current prices of PUSA 1121 Rs 35 per kg are much lower than prices two year ago.

Meanwhile, export orders for basmati have started pouring in, with the country already booking orders for half-a-million tonne of aromatic rice.

“Buyers from Iran, Saudi Arabia, Europe and US have started surveying the markets of India and Pakistan and enquiring about the rates of basmati crop,” said Kohinoor Foods Joint managing director Gurnam Arora.

“We are hoping that within next one month, all export orders for basmati crop will be finalised,” he said.

Exporters are projecting the country's basmati export at last year's level of 3 million tonnes. “We are expecting that basmati rice export will remain close to last year's level," said Mr Arora, while stating that India's basmati rice export had doubled within the last three years.

The country's 70% basmati rice is exported to Iran, Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries.

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