After a three year consecutive decline in exports, the exports of Indian Basmati rice witnessed a growth of 32 per cent in Q1FY2018, especially driven by demand from Iran, a report said here. Indian Basmati rice exports have witnessed a rebound in the current fiscal with Q1FY2018 registering a 32 per cent growth in exports contributed by 25 per cent increase in realisations and 7 per cent increase in volumes, rating agency ICRA said in a report. This comes after a three year consecutive decline in basmati exports till FY2017 (Rs. 21,605 crore), it said. In the past, despite the volumes holding firm, the exports have been adversely impacted by pressure on realisations from peak of Rs. 77,988/ MT in FY2014 to Rs. 54,011/MT in FY2017, driven by lower demand in the global market as well as lower paddy prices over the procurement seasons of FY2015 and FY2016. Commenting on the trend, Deepak Jotwani, Assistant Vice President, ICRA said, “Basmati rice exports in the current fiscal have been encouraging, especially driven by demand from Iran. The Middle Eastern countries are the biggest importers; and also a source of volatility in demand. ICRA expects that the demand concerns in the form of Iran import ban and sluggishness from other key geographies would be overcome and export volumes in FY2018 to be around 4.1 million MT (4 per cent higher than FY2017). In addition, higher paddy prices in the last procurement season and likelihood of firm prices in the upcoming procurement season are expected to push up the average realisations in FY2018, the report said. As a result, export value is expected to grow to around Rs. 26,000 crore in FY2018, a growth of 21 per cent over FY2017, Jotwani added.