India ban on nonbasmati rice hits expats in UAE badly

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Dubai, Oct 17 (UNI) Price of non-basmati rice in the UAE and the Gulf is expected to rise by 25 per cent following an export ban imposed by the Indian government, affecting the three million Indian expatriates in the region.

Suppliers have given notice to the retailers to increase the price of certain brands of non-basmati rice, wheat flour and milk powder, a local daily quoted industry officials as saying.

The price of non-basmati rice is to go up by 10 to 25 per cent due to the shortage of non-basmati rice from India following the ban, suppliers and retailers said.

''There is a shortage of non-basmati rice in the market following the ban as Indian non-basmati rice constitutes about 50 per cent of the market share,'' a prominent supplier said.

''Wholesale prices of non-basmati rice from Thailand have gone up by about 100 dollars per tonne. So the retail prices may go up by about 10 to 25 per cent soon,'' Al Rabiah Trading Company sales manager RS Shashi Kumar said.

The latest price rise is likely to affect the majority of the UAE population who have already been suffering from high inflation, officially put at 9.3 per cent. This comes on top of a silent price increase of European goods due to the UAE dirham, which is pegged to the US dollar, losing value.

Prices of Indian products are also likely to increase in the coming months due to the appreciation of Indian currency, analysts say.

The India ban on exports of non-basmati rice last week was to procure and maintain sufficient stock in the country and to keep rice prices stable, according to Indian media reports.

The Indian expats are already groaning under soaring rents, rising prices, increasing transportation costs and the pricey rupee which has reduced their savings substantially.


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