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‘Export of basmati rice could be affected by Red Sea attacks’

The alternative route may also affect India’s exports of the long-grain rice to Egypt and European countries, said the official, requesting anonymity.

The rerouting by major shipping lines in an effort to avoid the Red Sea route, which has seen multiple attacks on vessels by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, could raise the price of Indian basmati rice exports by 15 to 20 per cent, a senior official with a government agency said.

The alternative route may also affect India’s exports of the long-grain rice to Egypt and European countries, said the official, requesting anonymity. This comes after the world’s second-largest container shipping company, Maersk, said all vessels previously paused and due to sail through the Red Sea region will now be rerouted around Africa via the Cape of Good Hope for safety reasons.

The official said India’s exports face a shortfall of about $4 billion to $5 billion this year after it curbed exports of wheat, rice and sugar amid rising prices. However, India expects growth in exports of other farm commodities to offset the export deficit this year, the official said.

Maersk had announced on December 15 that it would pause all vessels bound for the Gulf of Aden over the highly escalated security situation in the area. “This decision was taken to ensure the safety of our crew, vessels and customers’ cargo onboard,” the firm said.

First published on: 22-12-2023 at 04:55 IST
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