India’s Basmati Rice Exports – Rice Export Market of India

25 August 2020
India Export Data

India’s basmati rice exports in 2019-20 was around 44.55 lakh tonnes as compared to 44.15 lakh tonnes recorded during the corresponding period last year. This was marginal increase despite setbacks such as delayed payments from Iran and stringent pesticide residue norms by the European Union. According to India export data of rice, the country shipped basmati rice most to Iran in 2019. Let’s have a larger picture of India’s basmati rice export market.

Indian Basmati Exports Recorded an Increase in 2019

India’s exports of basmati rice rose in 2019 when the country shipped around 44.55 lakh tonnes of basmati rice to the world. That value rose from 44.15 lakh tonnes recorded during the corresponding period last year. According to Agricultural and Processed Foods Exports Development Authority (APEDA), Punjab and Haryana account for over 70-75% of basmati exports from the country and are major cash crops from farmers. Other major basmati-growing states include Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, J&K, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.

India’s Exports of Basmati Rice during April-May 2020

According to APEDA data, basmati exports from India in April-May 2020 was around 8.64 lakh tonnes as compared to 7.45 lakh tonnes during the corresponding period last year. Value-wise, basmati rice exports rose by 13.86% to USD 932 million as compared to USD 819 million in 2018-19.

Basmati Rice Exports from India Set to Repeat Record Shipments in FY 20

India’s exports of basmati rice is set to repeat record shipments in FY 20 as exporters cater to spike in global demand for the food grain owing to Covid-19 pandemic and the festival of Ramadan. Basmati rice suppliers in India are hoping that rice exports from India is expected to amount to 4.4 million tonnes in FY 20, at part with FY 19. Although consignments were stranded at ports and foreign destination since last week of March 2020 due to the nationwide coronavirus lockdown. 

India’s Top 10 Export Destinations of Basmati Rice

India export statistics of basmati rice show that India shipped 13,19,154 million tonnes of basmati rice, the most to Iran in 2019. Other major India’s export destinations of basmati rice were Saudi Arabia, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Yemen Republic, United States, United Kingdom, Oman and Jordan. Below given chart and table shows quantity of rice imported by these countries from India in 2019.




2019 Quantity in MT



Saudi Arabia




United Arab Emirates




Yemen Republic


United States


United Kingdom







This year rice shipments have grown by 20% to 30% to key buyers like Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Since November 2019, the trade of rice with Iran, Jordan, Kuwait and the United States has also grown.

Rice is the most important cereal food crop of India, occupying one-fourth of the gross cropped area of the country. It is the basic food crop and cultivated comfortably in hot and humid climate. Rice is mainly grown as a Kharif crop in rain-fed areas of India that receive heavy annual rainfall. India has been a leading exporter in global rice trade, accounting for more than 20% of the export in the last four years. Indian rice caters to the Middle East and Africa for non-basmati and the EU and the United States for basmati variety. Get all updates on Indian basmati and non-basmati rice export market right here.

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