UAE suspends rice export for four months

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has taken a decisive step to address the global rice shortage by suspending rice sales overseas for a period of four months, effective immediately. The Ministry of Economy, as reported by the state news agency Wam, confirmed the temporary ban on the export and re-export of rice, with a specific focus on rice originating from India that was imported after July 20.

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UAE Temporarily Halts Rice Exports Amid Global Shortage

The ban encompasses various rice varieties, including peeled rice, brown rice, fully or partially milled rice, polished rice, and broken rice, as covered by the unified customs tariff. To export or re-export any of these forms of rice, companies must obtain an export permit from the ministry, which will be granted for a duration of 30 days under the ruling. The ministry has the authority to extend this period automatically unless a decision to cancel its implementation is issued.

Global Concerns Over Rice Supply Prompt UAE's Action

As the world's leading rice exporter, India's recent imposition of a ban on some overseas rice sales had significant implications for the global rice market. Specifically, the ban targeted non-basmati white rice exports, constituting approximately one-fourth of India's total rice exports. The primary reason behind this move was to ensure sufficient domestic supply and tackle the surge in prices in the local market. Rice, being a staple food for over three billion people worldwide, has witnessed a sharp rise in demand. However, several factors, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, geopolitical tensions like the conflict in Ukraine, and the onset of El Nino, have led to supply constraints and adversely affected rice production. International rice prices reached record highs, and India's ban further raised concerns about potential exacerbation of food insecurity in countries heavily reliant on rice imports.

Addressing the Global Rice Crisis

In response to the global rice crisis, the UAE's decision to suspend rice exports aligns with India's measures to safeguard its domestic rice supply. The UAE's ban targets not only rice from India but also covers other rice varieties specified in the unified customs tariff. By imposing a temporary restriction, the UAE seeks to ensure that its citizens have access to an adequate rice supply during these challenging times. Companies intending to export or re-export rice must comply with the export permit request process to contribute to the overall stability of the rice market. As the situation remains dynamic and complex, both countries are taking necessary steps to alleviate the impact of the rice shortage on their populations and mitigate potential food crises globally.

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