Chairman Basmati Growers Association (BGA) Hamid Malhi said here on Friday that prices of Pakistani basmati rice are still lower than the prices of Indian basmati rice. “Pak basmati paddy prices range between Rs 1850-1900 per 40 Kg and are expected to increase further due to less production of this quality”, he said this while talking to Business Recorder.
He said average basmati paddy rice prices in India continue to soar, around $490 per ton in November, up around 60 percent from average prices of last year, and up about 23 percent from around Rs 2,200 per quintal (about $400 per ton) last month. Malhi said poor rainfall in the beginning of this year’s planting season has fuelled speculations that basmati rice production may decline this year.
Another reason for the surge in prices is the strong demand in the international market this year. Quoting Indian basmati rice exporters, Malhi said basmati rice export in 2012-13 expected to increase about 25 percent from last year’s 3.2 million tons to around 4 million tons in 2012-13, helped by a weak rupee against the dollar While some Indian traders say that prices will increase by another Rs 100 per quintal (about $20 per ton) in the coming weeks, other say that the perception that production of basmati rice will decline this year is wrong.
They said that while the production of traditional basmati varieties may decline about 30 percent this year, the PUSA variety, which accounts for the bulk of India’s basmati rice production, is likely to remain at last year levels. BGA chairman said India produces about 8.5 million tons of basmati rice in 2011-12, with around 3.2 million tons of basmati exported to other countries.