KARACHI: Rice exporters of Pakistan are having a field day due to the Indian government's ban on the export of non-basmati white rice to the international market.
On July 20, the Indian government banned exports of non-basmati white rice to boost domestic supply and keep retail prices under check during the upcoming festive season.
Non-basmati white rice constitutes about 25 per cent of total rice exported from the country.
Pakistan Rice Exporters Association Chairman Chela Ram Kewlani said that the ban on non-Basmati white rice export by India has led to an increase in the export orders of Pakistani firms.
"There is a big demand for Pakistani rice in the global market after India placed restrictions on the export of non-basmati rice. International buyers are now turning towards Pakistani exporters," Kewlani told PTI on Wednesday.
This year, Pakistan is expected to export rice worth over USD 3 billion dollars, he said, adding that the price of basmati rice has risen by 100 dollars per ton.
"Before India's ban on the export of non-basmati white rice, the price of Pakistani non-basmati rice was USD 450 per ton, but now, in the international market, it has increased to USD 500 per ton. The price may even reach USD 600 per ton depending on the quality," he said.
Besides increasing demand from the US, the UK and other European countries, Russia has also shown keen interest in purchasing 5 million tonnes of rice from Pakistan, Kewlani said.
"We are in negotiations with 27 Russian companies for the export of non-basmati rice. Furthermore, talks are in progress for the acquisition of Pakistani rice by Mexico as well," he said.
Kewlani said Indian non-basmati white rice was in great demand in the global market, which is why the ban has helped Pakistani exporters.