Amidst the nation-wide lockdown, Indian exporters have stopped offering quotes and signing new contract for export of rice. Labour shortages and disruption in supply chain logistics in the wake of the Chinese virus is making it difficult to fulfil even existing contracts. In the absence of world's biggest exporter, Thailand has taken over the international market.
Thailand has raised shipments for the short term and has made global prices of rice to shoot up. Being the only key exporter of rice currently, it is trading the commodity at exorbitant rates. This is forcing millions of poor consumers across the world especially in African countries to pay them through their nose.
India exports non-basmati rice to Nepal, Bangladesh, Senegal, and Benin. Premium Basmati rice is exported to countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
After China, Thailand was one of the first few countries to get affected by the Wuhan virus. While the world's economy has come to a virtual halt, countries like China and Thailand are having a field day in exporting their products at high rates. This makes one wonder whether this pandemic was brought in to fix an ailing Chinese economy by bringing the rest of the world to its knees.