Economy 11:08 14/05/2022 World

India bans wheat exports to control domestic prices

India has banned exports of wheat, abruptly reversing its policy to send shipments around the world to plug a global food shortage. The union government issued a notification on Friday night, clamping a total ban on fresh exports, Hindustan Times reported.

The move comes on the back of an estimated large drop in output due to a severe heatwave and a sharp rise in domestic food prices, especially of cereals.

The notification by the directorate general of foreign trade said the step was taken in the interest of national food security.

The curbs will not affect export orders already contracted by private traders and for which letters of credit have been issued.

“Export will be allowed in case of shipments where an irrevocable letter of credit is issued on or before the date of notification. Export will be allowed on the basis of permission granted by the government of India to other countries to meet their food security needs and based on the request of the governments,” the notification said.

India’s ban is likely to drive global food prices, which have risen to record levels due to void in wheat supplies after Russia’s war on Ukraine.

The country was hoping to export large quantities as the government had forecast a record output of 111 million tonne of wheat in February. A month-long heatwave from mid-March shrivelled the winter staple, forcing the government to cut production estimates by at least 5.7% to 105 million tonnes.

Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said “India was ready to feed the world” by exporting its surplus stocks.

Wheat prices have risen to record levels, rising 6.95% on-year in April, which is a decadal high on the back of lower output and brisk buying by private traders at higher than government-ordained minimum support prices of ₹2015 a quintal (100 kg) in anticipation of robust export demand.



Source Panorama.am
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