06 Feb, 2024

What is the global dependence on rice exports from India?

India is the biggest rice exporter in the world because of its high production of rice. In India, there are many varieties of rice, which include both basmati rice and non-basmati rice. India is the 2nd-largest rice producer in the world and the 1st-largest exporter of rice in the world. There are several reasons why the world depends on India for rice.

In this blog, we discuss India's rise to become the biggest rice exporter in the world and the countries most dependent on Indian rice exports.

Demand for rice in the global market

Globally, rice is the most consumed meal, with an annual consumption of 500 million tons.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), global rice prices are at their highest level in 15 years.

India announced on July 20, 2023, that it would immediately stop exports of non-basmati white rice, leading to a surge in exports. The determination was made a few days following Russia's withdrawal from the Black Sea Food Initiative, which precipitated a surge in the worldwide cost of food supplies. According to traders, the rice shortages will cause a domino effect on substitutes for rice, including wheat, soybeans, corn, and corn.

As rice substitutes, wheat, soybeans, maize, and corn, according to traders, will be adversely affected by the rice shortage.

These factors explain why demand for rice in the global market has increased because rice substitute foods do not have enough quantity, so the world uses them as rice’s substitute, and the ban on non-basmati rice in India also impacts the world’s demand for rice.

How much water is used for rice?

Rice is the third most produced crop in the world, after corn and wheat, and usually takes 90 to 200 days to grow, depending on the variety and environmental conditions.

Rice is available in thousands of varieties, each distinguished by its grain shape, color, texture, and culinary properties.

Rice is one of the most water-intensive crops to grow, typically requiring 3,000 to 5,000 liters of water per kilogram of crop, about three times the amount needed to grow wheat.

The growing crop of rice demands high water levels and sources of water, and that’s the big point for India. because India has enough water resources to grow enough rice for world trade and is the biggest rice exporter in the world.

Biggest rice exporter in the world is India

Cheap domestically produced rice has made India the world's largest rice exporter, accounting for nearly 40 percent of total rice exports, which will reach 54 million tons in the 2022–2023 crop year.

India's 20.5 million tons of refined rice exports in 2023 are almost 2.5 times the 8.5 million tons of Thailand, the second largest exporter. Vietnam (7.9 million tons), Pakistan (3.6 million tons), and the United States (2.1 million tons) are in that order, following Thailand.

India has dominated rice exports over the past decade, partly due to low local prices and high domestic stocks, which have allowed the country to offer rice at discounted prices.

Who buys Indian rice?

The Directorate General of Business Intelligence and Statistics (DGBS) of India reports that India exported approximately 12.9 million tons of rice to at least 150 countries valued at nearly $7 billion between January and July 2023.

Three-fourths (77%) of India's rice exports are non-basmati rice, while the remaining one-fourth (23%) is basmati rice.

With 1.17 million tons, the West African nation of Benin purchased the most Indian non-basmati rice in 2023, ahead of Senegal (872,080 tons) and Kenya (685,302 tons).

Eight of the top 10 export destinations for Indian rice are African countries, which mainly import broken rice, the cheapest and most satisfying variety.

Iran (545,751 tons), Iraq (383,687 tons), and Saudi Arabia will buy the most basmati rice from India in 2023 (639,150 tons).


This is the main reason why India is the biggest rice exporter in the world, but there is one more element of this trade that is important to discuss: Indian suppliers and exporters. They play a crucial role in making India a top leader in the world rice trade.

Mahavir Rice Mills is one of the best rice exporters in India. We are covering different varieties of rice, including basmati and non-basmati, and we carefully export each rice grain to the world so people in different countries can feel the real taste of India.

If you are also looking for the best rice exporter from India to the world, then contact us at Mahavir Rice Mills, and we can assure you about our quality and variety.

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