Global Economy

Centre wants data on wheat exports to decide on further relief or ban


The central government has asked the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (Apeda) to collect information from wheat exporters on how much of the cereal is being sold overseas, said people with knowledge of the matter.

“This will help the government in deciding whether to continue with the export ban or introduce further relaxations,” said one of the persons.

The authority is seeking data on quantities for which letters of credit (LCs) have been issued by banks and exports for which registration has been filed with customs before May 13. It’s also checking on how much wheat is lying with exporters among other data.

From India’s stance to ‘feed the world’ to banning wheat exports: What changed?

A growing food security threat has pushed India into a conundrum: continue sending wheat to countries hit by dwindling supplies from the war in Ukraine or stockpile food at home to fend off high inflation. On the other hand, severe heat waves have damaged wheat yields across the country. Here’s what it means for the world grain markets. Watch!

The commerce ministry partially relaxed the ban on exports on Tuesday, allowing consignments that reached customs on or before May 13 to go through. The ministry had announced the plan to limit wheat exports to contain rising prices of the cereal and manage food security in India on that date. Exports were allowed in the case of prior commitments through letters of credit and where other governments had asked the Indian government for wheat.

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Traders Expect more Relaxations

Traders are expecting the government to announce some more relaxations in the coming weeks as international pressure to ease the ban persists. Agriculture ministers from the G7 industrialised nations had earlier condemned India’s decision to ban unapproved wheat exports.

Wheat is in high demand as amid supply constraints due to the Ukraine war and harvests in Canada, the European Union, the US and China have been affected by the early onset of summer. India’s wheat output has also been hit by high summer temperatures.

The Indian cereal is the cheapest internationally, said traders, priced at $360 per tonne against $400 for Russian wheat and $458 for Australian wheat .

While announcing the restrictions on wheat exports, commerce secretary BVR Subrahmanyam had said, “The order is not for posterity,” indicating that the government may revise the order if the situation changes.



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