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Crowding Competitors Out with Lower Prices, Indian Exports Dominate the Global Rice Market

rice exports

Crowding Competitors Out with Lower Prices, Indian Exports Dominate the Global Rice Market

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘World – Rice – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

Over 2020-2021 period, the global rice market displayed robust production indicators. Despite a pronounced shortage of shipping containers threatening to disrupt supplies to Africa, the global rice export market continues to expand. India maintains its status as the largest exporter, boasting the most competitive rice export prices.

Key Trends and Insights

Over 2020, rice production worldwide increased by 2.0 million tonnes against previous year figures, surging to a record 503.2 million tonnes (according to USDA data).

Africa, a key rice importer, may encounter a shortage in rice supplies, following a global lack of shipping containers in 2021. Despite the fact that rice production in Africa has increased by 10% over the past 5-year period, the continent continues to rely heavily on imports.

Over the 2019-2020 period, India exported a record 14.5K tonnes of rice, maintaining its dominant export position worldwide. The bumper crop yield seen over the past two years has enabled India to maintain competitively low prices, thereby displacing Pakistan’s and Myanmar’s exports from the African market. In 2021, it is projected that increased supplies to Bangladesh will further boost Indian exports. China is now redirecting its national rice stores for domestic consumption and has reduced the volume of rice exports to Africa.

Over the 2020-2021 period, India boasted the most competitively low prices ($370 per ton of nonparboiled white rice), while prices for Vietnamese rice surged, following a stocks shortage until the beginning of the rice crop yield ($515 per ton of 5-percent broken kernel long-grain milled rice), becoming comparable with Thai rice prices. The price for rice from the USA, Uruguay and Argentina now exceeds $600 per ton.

India to Feature Increasing Consumption and Export Volumes

The global rice market reached $363.8B in 2019, flattening at the previous year. The figures in this article relate to all types of rice (paddy, milled, etc.) in total.

The countries with the highest volumes of rice consumption in 2019 were China (211M tonnes), India (168M tonnes) and Indonesia (57M tonnes), together comprising 57% of global consumption. These countries were followed by Bangladesh, Viet Nam, Myanmar, Thailand and the Philippines, which together accounted for a further 21% (IndexBox estimates).

From 2012 to 2019, the biggest increases were in the Philippines, while rice consumption for the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, China ($114.7B) led the market, alone. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Bangladesh ($57.1B). It was followed by the Philippines.

The countries with the highest levels of rice per capita consumption in 2019 were Myanmar (472 kg per person), Viet Nam (390 kg per person) and Bangladesh (330 kg per person).

From 2012 to 2019, the biggest increases were in India, while rice per capita consumption for the other global leaders experienced mixed trends in the per capita consumption figures.

After two years of growth, overseas shipments of rice decreased by -9.8% to 39M tonnes in 2019. The total export volume increased at an average annual rate of +1.5% over the period from 2012 to 2019.

In value terms, rice exports dropped to $23.1B (IndexBox estimates) in 2019. In general, exports, however, continue to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern.

In 2019, India (9.8M tonnes), distantly followed by Thailand (5.8M tonnes), Viet Nam (5.5M tonnes), Pakistan (4.6M tonnes), the U.S. (3.6M tonnes) and China (2.1M tonnes) represented the largest exporters of rice, together creating 80% of total exports. Brazil (1,063K tonnes), Paraguay (738K tonnes), Myanmar (733K tonnes) and Italy (679K tonnes) followed a long way behind the leaders.

From 2012 to 2019, the most notable rate of growth in terms of shipments, amongst the main exporting countries, was attained by China, while exports for the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the largest rice supplying countries worldwide were India ($6.8B), Thailand ($4.2B) and Viet Nam ($2.4B), together comprising 58% of global exports. Pakistan, the U.S., China, Italy, Brazil, Myanmar and Paraguay lagged somewhat behind, together comprising a further 28%.

The average rice export price stood at $584 per tonne in 2019, increasing by 5.3% against the previous year. In general, the export price, however, recorded a relatively flat trend pattern. Over the period under review, average export prices attained the maximum at $621 per tonne in 2012; however, from 2013 to 2019, export prices remained at a lower figure.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform


5 Business Issues Facing Agricultural Commodities Companies

Let’s learn more about 5 frequently asked questions on common issues that affect not only agri-commodities companies but span almost all commodities: managing complex supply chains, over-use of spreadsheets, growing amounts of data, analytics, and mobility.

1) Is there a better way to solve critical business problems than relying on multiple systems and spreadsheets?

Most commodities companies have multiple software systems in place to manage commodity trading, risk, procurement, and supply chains. This could be due to an accumulation of systems from mergers and acquisitions, especially in agriculture as many of the large ags traders are looking to gain more control over their supply chains by expanding their global footprint.

They may also have a separate solution for each product, department, or geographic region. However, when data is kept in multiple siloed systems, companies often turn to spreadsheets to connect the dots. Manually entering data into excel is not timely, accurate, or auditable, and it forces companies to base critical decisions on the hope that an individual didn’t make any errors. Not to mention it can be expensive, like when an employee at Deutsche Bank reportedly sent a hedge fund client $6 billion on accident due to a ‘fat-finger’ mistake.

Luckily the company was able to recover the money, but these types of errors can be easily avoided. Rather than take the risk of costing your company millions, or billions, of dollars, commodities companies should adopt an integrated solution that covers the entire value chain and allows users to focus on data analysis instead of data collection. By aggregating and analyzing data all in one system, users can optimize decision making and gain a competitive advantage.

2) How can we get more analytics and reporting from our existing systems?

Commodities companies need to be able to perform predictive analytics in addition to slicing and dicing their data. In order to make better business decisions in today’s complex and volatile markets, analytics need to be in the hands of business users, not the domain of IT and specialists. Using an advanced analytics tool along with an existing solution, such as CTRM software, ERP, or other transaction systems, allows you to bring together all of your data from different sources, discover new insights, and investigate hidden risks faster.

3) Is there a Business Intelligence tool specific to the commodities markets?

Generic business intelligence (BI) tools typically require too much customization to be useful for commodity-specific issues. It can be very costly, both in dollars and time, to add all the functionality needed to manage commodities to a generic system, and in the end, you will probably still need to use another system to handle certain tasks.

There are solutions built specifically for the commodities markets that agriculture, energy, metals, and manufacturing companies should consider instead of a generic BI tool. This will enable them to get the relevant information they need to solve the most important business issues without having to hunt down the answers from separate departments or solutions.

4) How can we better understand and identify commodity risk and opportunities across the supply chain?

Having visual representations of your business makes it much easier to recognize risks and opportunities. For an agriculture company, having a transparent view from farmer to stockyard to processor to producer, all the way to the end-user, will allow you to make the best decisions for buying, transporting, storing, and selling commodities. For other commodity trading companies, it is critical to be able to view the entire transaction life cycle, from trading, risk management, and processing, to scheduling, logistics, accounting, and settlement. Using sophisticated visualization tools to get an accurate view across an entire deal lifecycle, users can identify commodity risk and exposures as well as gain insights into opportunities to improve efficiencies and profit margins.

5) Are there CTRM systems built for mobile?

As more people are conducting business on the go, traveling to customer or supplier sites, or working from a remote location, it is no longer acceptable to have to wait until you are in the office to access data and make decisions. To get the most value out of a CTRM software solution it needs to have all the functionality of a desktop system built in.

Traders, risk managers, and executives can maximize productivity with the ability to perform key functions anytime, anywhere. With mobile apps, traders can enter deals and hedge effectively, even while out of the office. Risk managers can manage risk across the organization and executives can monitor key performance indicators at any time. The ability to react quickly to new deal information and communicate this information to the relevant people in an organization rapidly, accurately, and conveniently, provides companies with a competitive advantage. Using mobile apps eliminates the need for multiple follow-up emails and telephone communications that can be inaccurate and delay contract settlement.


Eka Software Solutions is a global leader in providing digital commodity management solutions, driven by cloud, blockchain, machine learning and analytics.

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