Basmati Rice in India : Its Export Potential


Nearly two third of Basmati Rice produced in India is exported. The leading aromatic fine quality rice in world trade, popularly known as Basmati Rice, fetches good export price in international market for its three distinct quality feature viz. pleasant aroma, super fine grains and extreme grain elongation. The main features of export quality Basmati rice are given in Table-4.

Table-4 : Characteristics of Export Quality Basmati   
 SL  Characteristics Karnal 
 Type-3  Basmati 
 1. Grain Yield (t/ha)2.312.122.23 2.192.682.65
 2. Plant Height (cm)178180165164164180
 3. Duration (Days)155155145145134155
 4. Tillers/Sq.m-1285286277278234285
 5. Grain/Panicle-1138139140142210141
 6. Lodging Score999979
 7. Amylose Content  23.46%23.52%23.48%23.39%23.52%23.52%
 8. AromaMildMildStrongStrongStrongStrong

Source : State Level Training Manual and the Directorate of Rice Research, Hyderabad.


The middle East Africa, CIS, America, France, Australia and Britain are the countries importing Basmati Rice from India. The export of Basmati and other varieties from India during 1993-99 is given in Table-5.

Table-5 : Export of Basmati Rice   
 SL  YearExport of Basmati Rice
 Quantity ('000 tonnes)  Value (Rs. in Crores) 
 1. 1993-1994 527.23 1,061.26
 2. 1994-1995442.13865.32
 3. 1995-1996373.31850.67
 4. 1996-1997  523.161,247.64
 5. 1997-1998593.321,685.62
 6. 1998-1999 (Provisional) 600.601,866.25


 SL  YearExport of Non-Basmati Rice
 Quantity ('000 tonnes)  Value (Rs. in Crores) 
 1. 1993-1994565.19225.46
 2. 1994-1995448.50340.47
 3. 1995-19964,540.703,717.41
 4. 1996-1997  1,989.041,924.72
 5. 1997-19981,795.741,685.37
 6. 1998-1999 (Provisional) 4,340.184,334.55


 SL  YearTotal Export of Rice
 Quantity ('000 tonnes)  Value (Rs. in Crores) 
 1. 1993-19941,092.421,286.72
 2. 1994-1995890.631,205.79
 3. 1995-19964,914.014,568.08
 4. 1996-1997  2,512.203,172.36
 5. 1997-19982,389.063,370.99
 6. 1998-1999 (Provisional) 4,940.786,200.80

Source : Annual report of Ministry of Agriculture, (Dept. of Agriculture & Co-operation), New Delhi.


Besides, with the opening of new markets like Japan, Korea and Indonesia under WTO regime and also due to the removal of minimum export price by the Govt. of India, the export of Indian Rice in general and of non-Basmati rice in particular have increased tremendously. The competition from Pakistan's Basmati, USA's Texamati and Thailand's Siamati were also responsible for decrease in the share of Basmati rice in India's export.

In the 80's, much of Indian Basmati Rice had gone to USSR and less quantities exported among other countries. The export share of USSR by the end of 80's decreased slightly while the share of other countries, particularly to Saudi Arabia, had increased substantially. The Indian Basmati Rice was exported to Saudi Arabia in considerable quantities by the end of 1997-98 and the share of USSR had gone down considerably by then. Thus the share of Gulf countries as a whole has increased significantly over the years.