The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has taken a significant step to safeguard its local rice supply by imposing a temporary ban on the exports and re-exports of Indian rice. The ban, which will remain in effect for four months, comes in response to reports of disruption in rice supply from India following a ban on non-basmati rice exports.
The UAE’s Ministry of Economy announced the suspension, highlighting its commitment to ensuring sufficient rice availability in the local market. The decision encompasses a ban on exports and re-exports of rice originating from India and imported into the country, including free zones, after July 20, 2023.
The UAE holds a crucial position as a regional hub for re-exporting Indian food grains to other Gulf and Northern African countries. With this temporary ban in place, the the Country aims to mitigate potential shortages and stabilize rice prices for consumers in the region.
India, one of the world’s largest rice exporters, accounted for over 40 percent of global rice exports, with a staggering 55.4 million metric tons shipped last year. Moreover, India serves as a major source of rice imports for the Country importers, particularly for non-basmati varieties.
Among the non-basmati rice varieties, the Sona Masoori rice, extensively cultivated in Telangana, holds a prime position for its quality and is highly sought after by the Telugu diaspora. The ban has been welcomed by leading rice traders in the the Country, who believe it will contribute to stabilizing rice prices and ensuring steady supplies in the local market.
As the Country implements this temporary ban, the focus remains on addressing potential rice supply challenges and maintaining food security within the country. The four-month suspension seeks to strike a balance between regional trade dynamics and safeguarding domestic rice availability for UAE consumers.