Indian basmati rice is among the best rice varieties grown across the world, mainly due to its aroma, nutritional profile and long grains that don’t glue like other rice varieties. Basmati rice is mainly grown in India (with higher percentage grown in North India) and many parts of Pakistan.
Some Italian farmers have also tried growing basmati rice but the international trade is still dominated by Indian and Pakistani basmati rice. As per some reports, basmati rice from Pakistan is having better flavor and aroma. However, such small differences can only be told by rice experts. I have myself tried both variants of Rice, from India and Pakistan, and I could hardly tell the difference.
In the recent years, rice consumption has started growing across Europe as it is gluten free and going gluten-free is the trend these days. Compared to other gluten free meals, basmati rice is a light food and offers good nutritional value.
As per a report published by Organic Market Europe, the import of organic basmati rice varieties from India and Pakistan has been steadily growing. The demand for organic, high quality basmati rice has been growing and this has resulted in higher import of organic rice. However, the overall import of rice (including organic and conventional) has declined slightly.
If someone is suffering from generally weak digestive system, adding rice to regular diet is a good option. Rice can also help reduce weight over long term as it makes you feel full. Although, it digests fast and you feel light just an hour after consuming a hearty meal with rice. Try it yourself and you will notice the difference between rice and consumption of other grains.
India exports rice to many countries but its premium Basmati is exported to Iran. Iran is facing high number of deaths due to COVID-19 outbreak and this could impact Indian exports of Rice to Iran.
As the exports will face trouble, market experts in India are expecting slight decline in Rice prices in Indian wholesale markets. After Iran, Saudi Arabia is main export market for India rice with 20 percent share.
Export of Indian Basmati to European Union declined by 32 percent in financial year 2019 and they could face further decline as many regions in Europe face lockdowns.
The prices in Indian Wholesale market have been supported by the fact that due to decline in plantation during the upcoming season (mainly due to COVID-19 and lower export demand),
Basmati Rice is aged before it is packed for sale in the market. So, the impact of anything related to production or sales decline takes a while. Big wholesalers and exporters from India have the capability to store massive quantities of basmati and they can handle the temporary decline in market prices.
As India also faces lockdown, the sales of basmati in the local market have firmed up due to stocking.