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All Eyes Are on India in Anticipation of the Rice Export Ban

Price Trend
Regulation / Agreement
Supply Yield / Stock Quantity
Jul 19, 2022
Written by
Bojan Mijatovic
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Based on past events in India, predictions are that rice may be next on the export ban list. India's wheat export ban created a looping spiral of rice demand, pushing the cereals' price higher globally. As a number one rice exporter, traders are looking closely at India, hoping that the ban option is not perceivable. However, in current weather situations in W1 of July-22, where monsoon rainfall is spread unequally, the production of summer crops is threatened. Furthermore, the rise of input costs, with a focus on fertilizer which burdens the cost price of rice by almost one-third, also does not inspire confidence about the future prices of rice.

Following the ban on wheat exports and the regulation of sugar exports in May 2022 from India, there are concerns about further extending the prohibition to rice. In addition, current unfavorable weather conditions on W1 of July 22 in India delayed the sowing of the most crucial summer crops such as rice, maize, and soybeans due to the uneven distribution of monsoon rainfall. As a result, the current sown area of summer crops in W1 of July-22 stands at 40.67M ha, which is a 9.3% YoY decrease, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare of India. Following rice acreage, it is down to 7.2 M ha, which is a 24.12% YoY decrease.

Rice wholesale prices in top importing countries

Source: Tridge

According to Tridge data, the wholesale price of rice in India in W2 of July-22 was USD 0.31/kg and is holding steady. On W1 July 22, the United States and other World Trade Organization (WTO) members announced their disagreement with India's trade-distorting rice subsidies, which are government-driven. As a result, India has, in the period from 2019-2022, increased support for the market price of rice from USD 5B to USD 6.32B, respectively- the support levels have been 11.46%, 13.71%, and 15.14% exceeding the 10% de minimis limit. India has significantly influenced the US rice industry, nearly tripling exports over the past ten years, largely thanks to subsidized rice prices.

Top Export Flows of Rice

Source: Tridge

India is not insulated from global impacts, and farmers feel the increase in input costs, primarily fertilizers. A possible export ban of rice from India would significantly influence the price hike. A lack of fertilizers will reduce rice yields in India, which is already under pressure due to adverse weather conditions and a reduction in planted areas.

Rice is the main food staple for most Asia countries, and developments in India can significantly affect price movements, shortages, and market disruptions. India is the world's number one rice exporter, with a 40% global share. Total quantities of rice exported in 2021 were 21.27M mt, and the total export value was USD 9.62B. However, with the decrease in production, there is a risk of a decline in exports.

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