Saudi Arabia continues to be the largest importer of rice from India, importing more than Iran during the first six months of 2015-16, a trend that was first set last fiscal.
Saudi Arabia imported 598,001 tonnes of rice valued at $527.16 million during the April-September period, as against Iran which imported 361,474 tonnes of rice valued at $319.71 million.
Till 2013-14, Iran was the largest importer of rice from India, buying 15.32 lakh tonnes valued at $1.98 billion, but slipped to second position, importing 10.04 lakh tonnes valued at $1.16 billion next year. Saudi Arabia bought 11.48 lakh tonnes valued at $1.29 billion.
In terms of overall rice exports, India exported 55.26 lakh tonnes valued at $ 3.17 billion, during the first six months of the current financial year, with basmati accounting for $1.91 billion.
Besides Saudi Arabia and Iran, other rice importers include the UAE, Iraq and Kuwait.
The details were given by Nirmala Sitharaman, minister of state for commerce and industry, in the Lok Sabha on Monday.