Singapore is in close contact with Indian authorities to seek exemption from the country’s ban on export of non-basmati rice, the city state’s food agency said on Friday. “Singapore Food Agency (SFA) is working closely with importers to increase the import of different varieties of rice from various sources. Singapore is also in close contact with the Indian authorities to seek exemption from the ban,” said a statement from SFA.
On July 20, the Indian government banned exports of non-basmati white rice to boost domestic supply and keep retail prices under check during the upcoming festive season. Non-basmati white rice constitutes about 25 per cent of total rice exported from the country.
In 2022, India accounted for about 40 per cent of Singapore’s imported rice, said the agency. Singapore imports rice from more than 30 countries.
Under Singapore’s Rice Stockpile Scheme, rice importers must hold a buffer inventory equivalent to twice of their monthly imports. This helps ensure an adequate supply of rice in the market, SFA said in a statement.
Countries expected to be hit by the ban include African nations, Turkey, Syria, Pakistan, among others.
In the first quarter of the current fiscal, about 15.54 lakh tonnes of white rice was exported from India against only 11.55 lakh tonne in the year-ago period, which means an increase by 35 per cent.