MALI- West African country Mali is seeking to import 290,000 tonnes of broken white rice from India through government-to-government channels following India’s lifting of the ban on broken rice exports in May this year. 

India instituted the ban on broken rice exports in September last year to meet its local demand for the commodity. 

According to a senior Indian government official, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had received a request from the Minister of Industry and Commerce to export 290,000 tonnes of fully broken rice to Mali. 

The quantity will be exported in two separate lots of 240,000 tonnes and 50,000 tonnes once the Directorate ­General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) examines the issue and announce the policy,” the government official commented. 

African countries rely on India for their supply of fully broken white rice and parboiled rice, and this demand has encouraged India’s response to allow the export of this rice to Mali. 

The broken rice exported from India meets 70 percent of the rice consumption in African countries, and the recently lifted ban on Indian broken rice exports forced these countries to turn to non-basmati rice to meet their demand for rice. 

In FY23, India exported 17.79 million tonnes of non-basmati rice while broken rice exports were 23 percent lower at 3 million tonnes due to the ban imposed to stabilize domestic prices. 

Moreover, in the first two months of the current fiscal year, African countries’ imports of non-basmati rice increased by 35 percent compared to the same period last year, reaching nearly 2.1 million tonnes, as reported by Vinod Kaul, Executive Director of All India Rice Exporters Association. 

Thanks to the overwhelming demand for broken rice, the Indian government permitted the export of 500,000 tonnes of broken rice to Senegal, 50,000 tonnes to the Gambia, and 200,000 tonnes of this rice variety to Indonesia in April. 

The comparatively affordable prices of this rice from India drive the demand from African countries. 

For example, Thailand is currently selling 100 percent broken rice for USD 523 per tonne, while India offers the same variety at USD 425 per tonne (including a 20 percent export duty), which serves as the benchmark price in the global market. 

Additionally, for 5 percent broken rice, India offers it at USD 468-USD 472 per tonne, while Pakistan, Vietnam, and Thailand offer it at USD 488-492, USD 508-512, and USD 518 per tonne, respectively, according to spot trade sources.

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