India has prohibited wheat exports with immediate effect, the government said in a notification late on Friday, as the world’s second-biggest wheat producer tries to calm local prices.
Shipments of wheat are allowed for letters of credit that have already been issued, the government said.
Significantly, the order came two days after the Government had decided to send trade delegations to a number of countries to explore possibilities of export of wheat.
The global agriculture market has been destabilised by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a major wheat producing nation that is a big supplier to the European market. Apart from national requirements, the order also cites, the priorities of the South Asian neighbourhood in dealing with the spike in global wheat prices.
However, wheat exports will be allowed on the basis of permission granted by the government to other countries to meet their food security needs on the basis of their requests.
“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,” reads the statement.
India’s wheat exports topped an all-time-high of 7.5 mt in the fiscal ended March 31, 2022. In mid-February, the Agriculture Ministry estimated the country’s 2021-22 wheat crop (marketed in 2022-23) at a record 111.3 mt. Based on that, it was expected that India’s wheat shipments would be anywhere from 10 mt to 15 mt this fiscal. Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, on April 15, tweeted that Indian farmers “have ensured our granaries overflow & we are ready to serve the world”.
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