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India’s Rice Market Set to Surge: Projected to Reach $59.46 Billion by 2029

The Indian rice market, valued at USD 52.82 billion in 2024, is projected to grow to USD 59.46 billion by 2029, marking a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.40% according to Mordor Intelligence report. This growth is underpinned by India’s robust rice production capabilities and increasing global demand for Indian rice varieties.

India’s prominence in the global rice market is backed by substantial production figures. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), India produced 178.3 million metric tons of rice in 2020, making it the second-largest producer worldwide after China. High-yielding rice varieties like IR 64, CR 2301, and Kudrat 5 have significantly contributed to this achievement. Over the last six decades, rice production in India has surged 3.5 times, reflecting both technological advancements and efficient farming practices.

The Indian Rice Exporters Association reported that rice exports reached 20 million tons in 2021, with non-Basmati rice constituting 16 million tons of this total. India’s ability to meet global rice demand without facing import restrictions has solidified its position as the top rice exporter globally. The ample production has enabled India to supply rice at competitive prices, enhancing its export potential further.

The monsoon seasons, specifically the South Western and North Eastern monsoons, play a crucial role in India’s rice production. Timely and adequate rainfall from these monsoons leads to higher productivity compared to other major rice-producing countries like Thailand and Indonesia, which often suffer from erratic rainfall patterns. The major rice-producing states in India include West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, and Bihar.

India’s extensive production capacity has enabled it to export rice to over 150 countries, capitalizing on high domestic stocks and low local prices. In 2021, India’s rice exports surpassed 21 million metric tons, outstripping the combined exports of Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan, and the United States. Rice remains a staple food for over 3 billion people worldwide, driving up demand for Indian rice and establishing India as a critical supplier for global food security.

Basmati rice, known for its unique aroma, taste, and grain elongation upon cooking, is one of India’s prized rice varieties. India dominates the global Basmati rice market, holding an 85% share of global exports. Saudi Arabia’s imports of Indian Basmati rice soared by over 150% in 2020, reaching 1,099 million metric tons. Iran and Saudi Arabia collectively account for about 40% of India’s Basmati rice exports, reflecting the variety’s international popularity.

India is one of the top rice producers in the Asia-Pacific region, benefiting from a climate conducive to rice cultivation. Major rice varieties grown in India include parboiled rice, broken rice, Sella rice, Swarna rice, and Sona Masoori rice. The adoption of high-yielding rice varieties and favorable climatic conditions are expected to drive production further. Government support, rising numbers of rice processing industries, and the growing global consumption of rice are additional factors bolstering production.

In June 2022, Vida Carbon Corp. signed an Emission Reduction Purchase Agreement with Core CarbonX Solutions Pvt Ltd to improve rice cultivation and water management practices in Telangana. This initiative aims to increase production across 100,000 hectares. In July 2022, the United Arab Emirates announced a USD 2 billion investment in India to develop food parks aimed at enhancing food security in South Asia and the Middle East. These food parks will focus on improving the yields of rice, onions, and potatoes through advanced climate technology. In September 2022, the Indian government prohibited the export of broken rice to increase domestic availability amid rising demand from the poultry industry and ethanol production as part of the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) program.

India’s rice market is on a steady growth trajectory, driven by its vast production capabilities, strategic export policies, and increasing global demand. The country’s ability to produce high-quality rice varieties, particularly Basmati, and offer them at competitive prices will continue to secure its position as a leading player in the global rice market. With favorable monsoon patterns, government support, and technological advancements, the future of India’s rice market looks promising.

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