Indian exporters are currently contracting basmati rice at $1,200 a tonne, about 9 per cent higher than last year, following increased demand for superior varieties of the grain.
Exporters had sold the premium quality rice at $1,100 per tonne last September.
According to trade sources, out of every 10 contracts signed, at least six are being inked at $1,200 a tonne. Only in two cases exporters agreed to ship the rice at a minimum export price (MEP) of $900 a tonne.
Traders are contracting basmati rice at a marginally higher price this year. And since there are a number of varieties available, the contracts are being signed "at varied rates," a Chandigarh-based exporter said.
He, however, added that the current contract at $1,200 a tonne is being signed on the condition that the prices would be "re-negotiated" if basmati prices fall or rise by more than $50 a tonne.
The government recently lowered the minimum export price (MEP) of basmati rice to $900 a tonne from $1,200 a tonne to help Indian exporters compete with their Pakistani counterparts in the international market.
Basmati rice is grown only in India and Pakistan.