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India exported wheat worth $473 m in April

Sat 21 May 2022, 13:39:14
New Delhi: India has exported wheat worth $ 177 million in March and $473 million in April this year. The government data showed that India exported wheat even at a time when about eight nations, including Ukraine, Belarus, Turkey, Egypt, Kazakhstan and Kuwait, had imposed wheat export restrictions. Top sources said that several countries have approached the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), seeking clarification on whether their requests for Indian wheat would be fulfilled.

According to sources,  over three dozen countries have sought food grains from India, with many others hinting they would also need them. On May 13, the government banned all private wheat exports with immediate effect to control rising domestic prices and ensure food security of India, neighbouring nations and vulnerable countries.  The G7 nations had criticised the Indian government's decision to restrict the exports.

"Still, after the conflict began on February 24, 2022, India has exported wheat worth USD 177 million and USD 473 million in March and April, respectively, despite facing challenges of low wheat production as a result of extreme heat wave that enveloped the northern part of the country that caused shrivelled grains and resultant drop in yield per acre," one of the sources said.

According to the DGFT (Directorate General of Foreign Trade) notification, wheat exports are 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.

Among the wheat exporting countries, India ranked 19th in



2020, 35th in 2019, 36th in 2018 and 2017, which shows that it has an insignificant share (0.47 per cent) while seven countries (Russia, the US, Canada, France, Ukraine, Australia and Argentina) have largest share in the overall quantity of wheat export in the past five years, sources said.

"A negotiation-based approach instead of conflict would have prevented removal of nearly a quarter of wheat exports from Russia and Ukraine," the source said, adding "export restrictions have been a regular feature of major food producers which has adversely affected India too".

Egypt and Turkey have also been importing significant quantity of wheat from India and have no locus standi for asking for open exports after having restricted them. Besides wheat, a number of other food products have been restricted for exports and these include curbs on exporting vegetable oil by Argentina, Kazakhstan, Cameroon, and Kuwait.

"These have resulted in significant price rise and India has been at the receiving end," the source said.

As wheat exports from India trickled to a stop, anxious importing nations have started putting in diplomatic requests as the list of countries seeking the grain continues to increase,

About a dozen countries have reached out to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), seeking clarification on whether their requests for Indian wheat would be fulfilled, officials said. On the other hand, as many as 47 countries have sought food grains from India, with many others hinting they would also need them.





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