India, the world’s biggest rice shipper, slapped a ban on exports of broken rice and curbed shipments of some varieties, threatening to rattle global crop markets further and exacerbate food inflation.
The South Asian country prohibited exports of broken rice and imposed a 20% levy on shipments of unmilled and husked brown varieties, according to statements from the government late Thursday. Semi-milled and wholly-milled rice, except parboiled and basmati varieties, will also have a similar duty.
The moves by India, which accounts for 40% of the global rice trade, will put further pressure on countries that are struggling with worsening hunger and soaring food inflation. Rice is a staple food for about half of the world’s population, with Asia producing and consuming about 90% of global supply.
Rice is now the third major agricultural commodity in India to face restrictions on overseas sales this year. The nation has already curbed wheat and sugar exports, adding to a spate of food protectionism that’s exacerbated chaos in global food markets brought on by the war in Ukraine.