Domestic prices of rice may continue to increase

A day after the Agriculture Ministry pegged kharif rice output at 104.99 million tonnes – lower than 111.76 mt in the last kharif season – the Food Ministry on Thursday said the domestic prices of rice are showing “increasing trend” and it may “continue to increase” due to the lower production forecast and the higher non-basmati export. The Agriculture Ministry on Wednesday had released the First Advance Estimates of production of major kharif crops for 2022-23 that pegged kharif rice production at 104.99 million tonnes during the current season in wake of uneven monsoon, which is 6.77 mt – or 6 per cent – lower than the 111.76 mt production in the last season. The kharif rice production estimates are lower than the target of 112 mt set for the current season and production of 105.21 mt for 2020-21. The dip in kharif rice production is significant in view of the requirement of rice for distribution under the National Food Security Act 2013. In domestic production, 60-70 LMT estimated production loss was earlier anticipated. Now, production loss of 40-50 LMT is expected and production output is not expected to be higher this year but only on par with previous year. The domestic prices of rice are showing increasing trend and it may continue to increase due to low production forecast by about 6 MMT [million metric tonnes] of paddy and 11% increase in export of non-basmati compared to corresponding period of last year.

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