indian basmati rice

Ministry of agriculture Jihad Government Trading Corporation of Iran (GTC), has announced that it is lifting ban on rice imports from November 2015, according to Bloomberg. The Middle East nation imposed a ban on rice imports in November 2014 citing excess production and adequate stocks.

Indian Queen Basmati Rice
Indian Queen Basmati Rice

The Chairman and CEO of GTC told reporters that the ban was lifted on October 23, 2015 and the agency has issued an international tender to purchase rice. “During production season we banned the import of rice. now the harvest has finished and the ban has been automatically lifted,” he was quoted. He however, declined to share details of the rice tender.

He also noted that the agency aims to maintain strategic reserve of all grains at a secure level, including rice, despite high production figures.

Iran is the biggest buyer of Indian basmati rice accounting for about a third of India’s total rice exports. A possible increase in demand is expected to provide some relief to Indian basmati rice exporters and farmers, who have been struggling to cope with falling prices and low demand. They are expecting Iran to issue new import licenses in December or January.

Shares of Indian rice companies have reportedly climbed up by 10-20% following the news of Iran lifting the ban on rice imports.