India, the world’s largest rice exporter and second-highest producer after China, is expected to harvest a record 121.46 million metric tonnes of grains in 2020-21, 2.2 per cent higher compared to the year prior, the country’s agriculture ministry recently confirmed.
According to the agriculture ministry, the second most populous nation is also likely to see a record harvest of wheat at 108.75 million tonnes against 107.86 million tonnes last year.
Apart from major grains, the Asian country is set to see a near-record harvest of cane in 2020-21 with an estimated 392.80 million tonnes of sugarcane against 370.50 million mt in 2019-20 and about 23 tonnes below its largest cane crop of 405.42 million tonnes recorded in 2018-19, the estimates showed.
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In 2020-21, the average export price was $366/mt as against $399/mt in the 2019/2020 season and market participants assert that the export prices of Indian rice may fall lower supported by the likely record output during the year.
“So far the rise in exports is primarily due to a fall in the average export prices of Indian rice,” a trader noted.
India has exported 13.1 million tonnes of rice so far in the 2020/21 season, as against 5.1 million mt in 2019-20, data from Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority showed.
On the other hand, the average export prices of wheat may not decline as the expected increase in the production is marginal, a Bangalore-based wheat exporter said.
In 2020-21, India exported 2.1 million mt of wheat against 219,690 tonnes in the previous year, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority added.
India, the world’s second-largest wheat producer, was unable to export significant quantities of wheat for several years because its wheat prices were higher compared with other global suppliers due to higher domestic prices. However, given the climb in global wheat prices as inventories had slumped to a two-year low, India finds itself in a position to export wheat.