India, the second-largest wheat producer, bans exports over food supply concerns

India, the second-largest wheat producer, bans exports over food supply concerns

India, the second largest wheat producer, has banned the export of the commodity citing a risk to its food security.

A statement in Friday’s Government Gazette, signed by Santosh Kumar Sarangi, director-general for foreign trade, said a “sudden surge” in global wheat prices puts India, neighboring and other vulnerable countries at risk.

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Export of wheat will be permitted in the case of shipments for which an Irrevocable Letter of Credit (ICLC) has been issued on or before the date of notification and “on the basis of permission granted by the Government of India to meet their food security needs and on the basis at the request of their governments.”

A farmer carries wheat crop in India

FILE – A farmer carries wheat crops after the harvest in Ganeshpur village in Sonbhadra district of India’s Uttar Pradesh state, Sunday April 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh, File/AP Newsroom)

“The export policy of wheat against the above HS codes is ‘prohibited’ with immediate effect, except for shipments that meet the conditions set out in[paragraph2abovewhichwillbeallowedundertheproceduresdescribedinparagraph105(b)oftheForeignTradeAgreementPolicy2015-2020″wrotethedirector[paragraph2abovewhichwillbeallowethepertheprocedureoutlineinPara105(b)oftheForeignTrade20wrotedirectorcy2015[Absatz2obengenanntenBedingungenerfüllendiegemäßdeminAbsatz105(b)desAußenhandelsabkommensbeschriebenenVerfahrenzugelassenwerdenPolitik2015-2020“schriebderRegisseur[paragraph2abovewhichwillbeallowedaspertheprocedureoutlinedinPara105(b)oftheForeignTradePolicy2015-2020″thedirectorwrote

Despite being the second largest wheat producer in the world, India consumes most of the wheat produced.

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The nation had set a target of exporting 10 million tonnes by 2022-2023, much of which would have gone to other developing countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.

India’s wheat crop has suffered from record-breaking heat and its own stocks have been strained by the distribution of free grain during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A worker seals sacks of wheat in India

FILE – A worker seals sacks filled with wheat in Gurdaspur, in the northern Indian state of Punjab, April 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Channi Anand, File/AP Newsroom)

Other countries are also struggling with poor harvests that are preventing them from making up deficits stemming from the Russian war in Ukraine.

Before the invasion, Ukraine and Russia accounted for a third of world wheat and barley exports.

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Global wheat prices are up more than 40% year-to-date.

Earlier this month, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) slightly lowered its forecast for global wheat production in 2022 to 782 million tons from 784 million tons last month.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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