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India Extends Ban on De-Oiled Rice Bran Export by Four Months

India Extends Ban

The Indian government has decided to extend the ban on exports of de-oiled rice bran by an additional four months, as per an official notification released by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) on March 15.

Originally imposed in July 2023 for a duration of four months, the ban on exporting this commodity derivative has been extended several times, with the latest extension stretching until July 2024. The decision comes amidst efforts to tackle inflation, particularly in the dairy sector, where de-oiled rice bran serves as a key component in animal feed.

De-oiled rice bran, a byproduct of rice bran extraction, is widely utilized in livestock nutrition, particularly for feeding cattle and other animals. The ban was initially introduced to mitigate rising milk prices, with the government citing the need to stabilize domestic markets.

However, the extension of the ban has faced criticism from industry stakeholders. The Solvent Extractors Association Of India (SEA), representing the edible oil sector, has been vocal in urging the government to lift the ban on de-oiled rice bran exports.

In a letter addressed to the central government, the SEA argued that the ban has adversely affected processors, exporters, and paddy farmers, impeding their ability to realize better returns on their produce. The association highlighted that de-oiled rice bran exports constitute only a small fraction, approximately 6%, of overall production.

Over the past three decades, India has successfully developed an export market for de-oiled rice bran, catering primarily to countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, and Bangladesh. However, the ban has prompted concerns that India risks losing its foothold in these markets to competing nations.

SEA emphasized that the export restrictions have failed to significantly impact milk prices, as the cost component of de-oiled rice bran in dairy production remains nominal. Instead, the ban has resulted in economic hardships for stakeholders across the value chain.

"An abrupt change in export policy has given opportunity to our competing countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh to capture Vietnam market for de-oiled rice bran and will be lost in no time," SEA asserted in its letter.

The decision to extend the ban on de-oiled rice bran exports underscores the complexities of balancing domestic market stability with international trade interests. As stakeholders continue to advocate for their respective positions, the government faces the challenge of formulating policies that address inflationary pressures while ensuring the competitiveness of India's agricultural exports.

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