News / Asia

India’s Rice Exports to Iran Rise

An Indian farmer harvests rice crop in a field on the outskirts of Jammu, India, October 30, 2012.
An Indian farmer harvests rice crop in a field on the outskirts of Jammu, India, October 30, 2012.
Anjana Pasricha
India’s rice exports to Iran have been rising since Tehran agreed to accept payment in India’s local currency for its oil. India wants to use this money to fund its exports to Iran, but efforts to step up trade between the two countries continue to face several hurdles due to Western sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear program.
A delegation from the All India Rice Exporters Association is getting ready to visit Tehran in early April to see how to strengthen business. The visit comes amid a recent surge in exports of rice to Iran. From April to December last year, Iran imported more than $725 million worth of rice - up 20 percent from the previous year.
India has been one of Iran’s biggest rice suppliers for many years. But business grew after New Delhi began to pay Tehran for oil partly in its local currency. These rupee resources, which are piling up in an Indian bank, are being used to fund Indian exports to Tehran.
Rice traders say the arrangement has ended the uncertainty over payments that arose due to Western sanctions on Iran.
"There are some issues still there, but people are aggressive in selling, and you see if the buyer makes money, he is a little more aggressive to sell. The rice prices have gone up in India, and Indian exporters are making good money," said Vijay Setia, who heads the All India Rice Exporters Association.

Rice traders are not the only ones eyeing the Iranian market. Indian pharmaceutical companies are also trying to increase exports to Iran amid a reported shortage of several medicines in that country. Sugar, tea, and iron and steel are some of the other items which India sells to Tehran.
However, India’s exports are worth far less than its oil imports from Iran, which amount to about $1 billion a month. New Delhi wants to increase trade with Iran - partly so that the rupees which are accumulating in India for oil payments can be used to finance exports.
But a refusal by many insurers to give coverage to shipments to Tehran is posing fresh hurdles.

Rafique Ahmed, president of the Federation of Indian Export Organization, which has been urging Indian companies to step up exports to Iran, says trade with Iran increased by 11 percent last year, but is not growing as much as expected.
"Definitely the sanctions are creating a problem because not everybody wants to take a risk of not having insurance and everything. So it is not increasing as much as we wanted it to increase," he said.  
There are also fears that India’s oil imports from Iran could face further problems because domestic insurance companies have expressed concerns about giving coverage to refineries which process the oil.
New Delhi, which has friendly relations with Iran, is its second biggest customer for oil, although oil imports have dropped by about 20 percent in response to pressure from the United States.

You May Like

Video In US, Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy

Holiday marks date Columbus discovered Americas, but some are offended by legacy because he enslaved many natives he encountered More

Video Through Sports, Austria Tries to Give Migrants Traction

With 85,000 people expected to claim asylum in Austria this year, its government has made integration through joint physical activities a key objective More

Video Kickboxing Champion Shares Sport With Young Migrants

Pouring into Europe by hundreds of thousands, some migrants, especially youngsters, are finding sports a way to integrate into new host countries More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs