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India exported wheat worth $177 million in March, $473 million in April

May 20, 2022 / 05:47 PM IST
(Image: AP)

(Image: AP)

India has exported wheat worth USD 177 million in March and USD 473 million in April even after the Russia-Ukraine conflict started in late February to help other countries overcome food crisis, sources said.

According to them, India exported wheat even at a time when about eight nations, including Ukraine, Belarus, Turkey, Egypt, Kazakhstan and Kuwait, had imposed wheat export restrictions.

"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 heatwave that enveloped the northern part of the country that caused shriveled grains and the resultant drop in yield per acre," one of the sources said.

With the retail prices of wheat and wheat flour rising by 14 to 20 percent in the last year, the government, on May 13, banned wheat exports to control rising domestic prices and ensure food security of India, neighboring nations and vulnerable countries.

The G7 nations had criticized the Indian government's decision to restrict exports. 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 a 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.

first published: May 20, 2022 05:03 pm
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