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HomeEconomyPakistan's Rice Exports Surge Thanks to India’s Export Restrictions

Pakistan’s Rice Exports Surge Thanks to India’s Export Restrictions

Rice exports from Pakistan surged 85.8%, reaching USD 2.5 billion within eight months, largely due to India’s self-imposed restrictions on its own shipments.

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Rice exports from Pakistan surged 85.8%, reaching USD 2.5 billion within eight months, largely due to India’s self-imposed restrictions on its own shipments.

Byline Amjad Saleh / Maryam

According to data from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, Pakistan’s rice exports have witnessed a significant surge in the first eight months of FY 2023-24. Exports grew by a remarkable 85.83 percent compared to the corresponding period last year.

During the July-February period, Pakistan exported over 3.932 million metric tonnes of rice valued at USD 2.517 billion. This is a significant increase from the 2.546 million metric tonnes worth USD 1.354 billion exported in the same period last year.

Basmati rice exports also experienced growth, at a slower pace than overall exports. The country exported over 472,135 metric tonnes of Basmati rice worth USD 539.428 million in the first eight months, reflecting a 38.43 percent increase compared to the previous year’s figures of 366,210 metric tonnes valued at USD 386.882 million.

Exports of non-Basmati rice varieties played a major role in the overall growth. Pakistan earned USD 2.180 billion from exporting approximately 3.460 million metric tonnes of these varieties, compared to USD 967.872 million earned from 2.180 million metric tonnes in the same period last year.

The positive trend continued on a month-on-month basis as well. Rice exports in February 2024 reached 609,295 metric tonnes valued at USD 402.043 million, a 48.18 percent increase compared to February 2023’s exports of 564,206 metric tonnes worth USD 271.312 million.

This surge in rice exports is part of a broader trend in the food group. The report also highlights a 54.05 percent increase in overall food group exports from Pakistan during the first eight months of FY 2023-24 compared to the same period last year.

This data suggests a positive outlook for Pakistan’s agricultural exports, with rice playing a leading role in driving growth.

The surge in Pakistan’s rice exports can be attributed to several factors. India, which usually accounts for nearly 40% of globally traded rice, imposed restrictions on its own shipments. This has led buyers to purchase more from Pakistan, which is offering the grain at nearly 16-year high prices.

There has also been a substantial improvement in Pakistan’s rice production this year. It is expected that Pakistan could produce 9 to 9.5 million tons of rice by the end of this year. Increased production and elevated global prices helps Pakistan to export at a rapid pace.

The rice industry in Pakistan has a stated exports target of USD 10 billion by 2028. This surge is anticipated due to a consistent rise in exportable surplus driven by an increasing per-acre paddy yield.

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