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In 2020, India again exported the most rice by value and was the largest international producer of this staple food, which is so essential in some places, after China. With a concentrated 1/3 (32.6%) share of global export trade, India, with its globally popular basmati rice, clearly outshines Thailand and Pakistan. Overall, a dominant position of the South and Southeast Asia region in the trade of rice is clearly evident. Global exports in 2020 amounted to a total volume of 21.4 billion euros. Click here to go directly to the TOP 10 overview!
The historical triumph of rice
Archaeological findings suggest that rice was first cultivated and consumed in China. A study confirms that this happened more than 8,200 years ago. From China, rice continued its triumphant advance to Southeast Asia and India - where rice still plays a prominent role in nutrition today, just as it does in China, Africa or the Middle East. For more than half of the world's population, rice is now the number one staple food.
The most avid rice-eating nations
Bangladeshis had the world's biggest appetite for rice in 2013. That's because, with 172 kg of average consumption per capita per year, they consumed more than any other country.
1. Bangladesh: 172 kg/per person and year
2. laos: 162 kg
3. cambodia: 161.5 kg
The largest importing countries of rice
Iran was still the country that imported the most rice by value internationally in 2019, ahead of Saudi Arabia and China, reflecting the high consumption of rice in the Middle East and Iran while local production volumes were low. In 2020, however, Iran's rice imports from abroad fell massively by almost half to 772 million now.
1. China: €1,279 million
2. Saudi Arabia: €1,230 million
3. USA: €1,125 million
4th Iran: €772 million
The largest rice-growing countries
The Middle Kingdom was clearly the world's largest rice-growing country in terms of harvested volume in calendar year 2018, which amounted to an enormous 212.13 million tons in 2018. India and Indonesia follow in second and third place in this regard.
1. China: 212.13 million t.
2nd India: 172.58 million t.
3. Indonesia: 83.04 million t