Prices have increased on the back of logistics bottlenecks that are limiting rice exports from India, the world’s biggest rice exporter, Mintec market analyst Zanna Aleksahhina told The Grocer this week.
As India was facing a shortage of freight trains there was “approximately 1.5 million tonnes of rice stuck at the ports, that India had planned to export this month”, Aleksahhina added.
“Unfortunately, there is no option to switch to alternative transport – road transport – since truckers have increased their freight charges too,” Aleksahhina added.
Traders were “quoting higher prices for overseas shipments to cover demurrage charges [and] high vessel rates”, she explained.
This is translating into higher retail prices. Assosia data for the 12 weeks to 26 January shows a raft of rice SKUs – many from the biggest brands – have been hit.
Tilda Basmati 500g and Tilda Basmati Brown Rice 500g, for example, rose from £2.65 to £2.85 in Tesco, while Ben’s Original Golden Vegetable Microwave Rice 250g and Mexican Style Microwave Rice 250g grew 15% to £1.15 in Sainsbury’s. Veetee Heat & Eat Pilau Rice Pots x2 250g and Veetee Heat & Eat Sticky Rice Pots x2 260g were subject to a 10% price increase from £1 to £1.10 in Sainsbury’s.
Tilda and Ben’s Original declined to comment. Tesco confirmed it had seen a rise in the wholesale price of rice but said it was trying to minimise the impact on retail prices.