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India’s rice export ban problematic for food security and the global market

The chair of the USA Rice Federation’s International Trade Policy Committee says India’s decision to ban exports of long grain, non-basmati rice is bad policy that puts food security in vulnerable countries in jeopardy.

Bobby Hanks says India accounts for 40% of the global rice market.  “There are not many other options for buyers to go because India has, for the most part, dominated the global export trade,” he says. 

Hanks says the ban has forced buyers to turn to Thailand and Vietnam and as a result, rice prices have jumped.  But, he tells Brownfield it remains to be seen if U.S. farmers will see a price bump.  “We have a pretty decent-sized crop coming so prices are still a little subdued, especially from last year’s highs. So we just have to wait and see if any of that demand will start to materialize here in the United. States, but it’ll. Start with other exporters in Asia.

Hanks says the Indian export ban allows the country to stockpile its domestic supplies and then start dumping rice onto the global market at cheap prices.  He says that disrupts global markets and eliminates competition.

AUDIO: Bobby Hanks, USA Rice Federation

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