OREANDA-NEWS  India's Commerce Ministry has amended the foreign export rules to bring the broken rice under the prohibited category, effective immediately.

The move was triggered by surging domestic prices, which put food security under threat. Per industry estimate, paddy sowing during the ongoing season has been 6 percent lower than the last year due to deficient rains in eastern parts of the country, resulting in higher prices in the domestic market.

Nomura, financial services group, said on 30 August that soaring maize prices in the global market "prompted a shift towards using broken rice as animal feed, with rising feed costs adding to higher meat prices".According to the Indian government, it has ample rice buffer stocks to meet the domestic demand, including for free food grain scheme. Delhi supplies subsidized food grains to around 800 million people under its public distribution system.

The development comes amid higher demand for rice from Iran, Bangladesh, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia, among others. Earlier this week, Bangladesh said the country had finalized imports of 530,000 tonnes of rice from India and Vietnam. The Sheikh Hasina government has planned to import 1.2 million tonnes of rice to replenish the food reserves and bring down prices of the staple food of 170 million people.