Indian exporters are currently contracting basmati rice at USD 1,200 a tonne, about 9 per cent higher than last year, following increased demand for superior varieties of the grain.
Exporters had sold the premium quality rice at USD 1,100 per tonne last September.
According to trade sources, out of every 10 contracts signed, at least six are being inked at USD 1,200 a tonne.
Only in two cases exporters agreed to ship the rice at a minimum export price (MEP) of USD 900 a tonne.
Traders are contracting basmati rice at a marginally higher price this year. And since there are a number of varieties available, the contracts are being signed “at varied rates,” a Chandigarh-based exporter said.
He, however, added that the current contract at USD 1,200 a tonne is being signed on the condition that the prices would be “re-negotiated” if basmati prices fall or rise by more than USD 50 a tonne.
The government recently lowered the minimum export price (MEP) of basmati rice to USD 900 a tonne from USD 1,200 a tonne to help Indian exporters compete with their Pakistani counterparts in the international market.
Basmati rice is grown only in India and Pakistan.