India bans wheat exports with immediate effect

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NEW DELHI – India has banned wheat exports with immediate effect as it seeks to bolster its food security.

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) under the Commerce Ministry in a notification dated May 13 said as a result of high global prices “arising out of many factors”, India’s food security was at risk.

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However, it clarified that wheat exports 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 their governments.”

The export ban comes as the Russia-Ukraine war has disrupted global supplies of wheat and other key commodities.

It runs counter to India’s hope of boosting wheat exports this year by cashing in on the tight world supply situation.

The Indian Commerce Ministry said in a statement on Thursday that the government will send trade delegations to Morocco, Tunisia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Turkey, Algeria and Lebanon for exploring possibilities of boosting wheat exports from India.

India exported 7 million tonnes of wheat valued about US$2 billion in its 2021-22 financial year and half of it was bought by Bangladesh, according to the ministry.

As per recent media reports, India’s wheat production this year has suffered due to a heat wave.

The country is also confronted with rising food inflation due to higher global commodity prices.