India's wheat export regulation will not affect global markets: Goyal
Davos: India's wheat exports are less than 1 per cent of the world trade and the government's decision to regulate the outbound shipments of the food grain will not affect global markets, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on Wednesday.
He said that India will continue to allow exports to vulnerable countries and its neighbours.
The minister said that India "never-ever" was a traditional player in the international wheat market.
Until two years ago, India did not even export wheat, Goyal said, adding the country started exports with a modest 2 million tonnes and last year it was about 7 million tonnes.
"Basically, this was a little surplus that we found available and that got sold. Even within that it was largely in the last 2 months after the war situation developed between Ukraine and Russia," he said here at a session at the World Economic Forum.
Further, the minister said that this year around "we were expecting our production to go by about 7 or 8 per cent (but) sadly we had a very severe heat wave in most parts of north India and wheat had to be harvested early and we have lost production".
"India wheat exports are less than 1 per cent of world trade and our export regulation should not affect global markets. We continue to allow exports to vulnerable countries and neighbours," he added.
On May 13, the government banned wheat exports to control rising domestic prices and meet the foodgrain requirement of neighbouring and vulnerable countries.
However, wheat exports are allowed on the basis of permission granted by the government to other countries to meet their food security needs and based on the request of their governments.
The export shipments for which irrevocable Letters of Credit (LoCs) have been issued on or before May 13 was also allowed.
India's wheat exports stood at 7 million tonnes, valued at USD 2.05 billion, in 2021-22 fiscal on better demand for Indian wheat from overseas. Of the total wheat exports, around 50 per cent of shipments were exported to Bangladesh in the last fiscal.
On wheat crop, Agriculture Secretary Manoj Ahuja, on May 14, said that it was likely to be around 105-106 million tonnes in 2021-22 crop year (July-June) as against the earlier projection of 111.32 million tonnes.
In the previous crop year, it was at little over 109 million tonnes.
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