To keep domestic prices low, India has banned wheat exports
India has suspended wheat exports with immediate effect as part of its efforts to contain rising domestic prices. The government stated that only export shipments for which letters of credit were issued on or before yesterday’s notification would be permitted.
Furthermore, according to the notification issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), the government will allow exports on request from other countries. According to the notification, the government made the decision “in order to manage the country’s overall food security and to support the needs of neighbouring and other vulnerable countries.”
After exports from the Black Sea region fell after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February, global buyers looked to India, the world’s second largest wheat producer after China, for supplies.
The decision to ban wheat exports comes after a massive crop loss in March due to a heatwave. Inflation, which reached 7.79 percent in April, is also putting pressure on the government.
A top official from India’s Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution told Reuters earlier this month that the country has no plans to restrict wheat exports. “There are no plans to restrict wheat exports because the country has sufficient wheat stocks,” Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey said at the time.
During a recent visit to Germany, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the Indian diaspora at an event that Indian farmers “have stepped forward to feed the world” amid a global wheat shortage. “Whenever humanity faces a crisis, India finds a solution,” he explained.
After five years of record harvests, India lowered its wheat output forecast to 105 million tonnes from 111.3 tonnes in February after the heatwave reduced crop yields. The DGFT announced the easing of export conditions for onion seeds in a separate announcement. “With immediate effect, the export policy of onion seeds has been placed in the restricted category,” it said. Onion seeds were previously prohibited from being exported.
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