India is considering to allow the overseas shipment of some rice cargoes stuck at ports, a government official told Reuters on Wednesday September 21st, on condition of anonymity.
On September 8th India imposed restrictions on rice exports in an attempt to keep domestic prices down. Higher global prices for all staples and below-average monsoon rainfall had led to India banning exports of broken rice and imposing a 20% duty on exports of various other types, such as plain white rice.
At least 20 ships were reported as waiting to load around 600,000 tonnes of rice at the ports after being trapped for nearly two weeks. Traders had said that this had forced them to pay demurrage charges.
A further 400,000 tonnes of rice were stuck at port warehouses and container freight stations. These were backed by letters of credit and would usually have been “let through”, but the current Indian restrictions seem to have been applied across the board.