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Rice exporter looks at doubling EU sales
New Kerala, Dec 8, 2004
Leading basmati exporter is investing almost six million euros in a rice mill in London to take advantage of EU lowering duty rates and to double sales in that market.

"As against 440 euros, the duty on white basmati (long grained fragrant rice) has been reduced to 175 euros making it lucrative for Indian exporters to sell polished rice to small businesses there which do not have milling facilities," Managing Director said here Tuesday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing India Economic Summit, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Davos-based World Economic Forum, Arora said Europe currently accounts for 20 percent of basmati exports from India. The biggest markets remain the Middle East countries, with Saudi Arabia the biggest buyer.

In Europe, France and Germany are the biggest consumers of basmati rice from India.

"We are exporting both brown and white basmati to the EU now. While the zero duty on brown basmati continues, the lowering of duty on white basmati has encouraged exporters to target EU for increasing exports into that lucrative and growing market," said Arora.

With exports to 55 countries and operations in Dubai and the US, the company already has two rice milling plants in India with the capacity to handle 40 tonnes per hour.

By setting up a milling plant at Felixtowe Port in London, the company is hoping to cut costs of supplying to Britain, the biggest market in the region.

"By March our rice milling plant, with a capacity of eight tonnes per hour, will start production. With this we hope to double our exports to Britain and the EU market to 10,000 tonnes from around 5,000 to 6,000 tonnes currently," said Arora.

With international prices of rice on the rise currently, Indian exporters are looking forward to better margins this year.

"Last year as the price of basmati was low, exports to Saudi Arabia were more than normal. This year we are seeing a demand from Iran and Iraq with traders sourcing stocks through Dubai," said Arora.

Despite competition from Pakistan, Indian basmati continues to enjoy good demand both in the high priced segment of traditional varieties and low price segment of hybrid varieties.

It is in the low priced category that India has been facing competition from Pakistan, said Arora.
MGR Archive 8.12.2004
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Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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