China buys Indian rice for first time in decades as supplies tighten: Trade officials
India is the world's biggest exporter of rice and China is the biggest importer. Beijing imports around 4 million tonnes of rice annually but has avoided purchases from India, citing quality issues.
The breakthrough comes at a time when political tensions between the two countries are high because of a border dispute in the Himalayas.
"For the first time China has made rice purchases. They may increase buying next year after seeing the quality of Indian crop," said B V Krishna Rao, president of the Rice Exporters Association.
Indian traders have contracted to export 100,000 tonnes of broken rice for Dec-February shipments at around $300 per tonne, industry officials said.
China's traditional suppliers, such as Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and Pakistan, have limited surplus supplies for export and were quoting at least $30 per tonne more compared with Indian prices, according to Indian rice trade officials.