Malaysia will be importing a record 100,000 tonnes of rice from India in May, international news agencies reported quoting industry officials. The first purchase they said was nearly twice the average annual volume of rice the country has imported from India in the last five years.
This is also a sign of improved relations between the two countries, after a spat over former Malyasia Prime Minster Mahathir Mohamed’s comments about India’s internal policies and treatment of its Muslim community. This had led to India restricting imports of Malaysian palm oil. This had in turn severely affected the Southeast Asian nation which is one of the largest exporters of palm oil.
The rice import by Malaysia has been necessitated after countries like Myanmar, Vietnam and Cambodia temporarily stopped exports to save the grain for themselves during the coronavirus crisis.
The news agency said that export to Malaysia will help India manage its stock of the grain. India is the world’s biggest exporter of the commodity. India was exporting rice for around $390-$400 per tonne compared to more than $450 for other countries, the agency quoted exporters.