'India in final talks to start wheat export to Egypt'

India in final talks to start wheat export to Egypt

New Delhi: India is in final talks to start wheat export to Egypt while discussions are going on with countries like China, Turkey and Iran to begin the outbound shipments of the commodity, the Commerce Ministry said on Saturday.

It said that India's wheat exports increased to $1.74 billion during April-January 2021-22 as against $340.17 million in the same period last year.

In 2019-20, wheat exports were worth $61.84 million, which rose to $549.67 million in 2020-21, it said.

It also said that the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has recently organized a meeting of key stakeholders in the value chain for promoting exports to those countries which have a huge shipment potential in the wake of global supply chain disruptions due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

"At the meeting, the Railways assured to make available sufficient rakes to meet any immediate demand for additional wheat transport. Port authorities have also been asked to augment dedicated terminals along with dedicated containers for wheat apart at ports," it added.

India's wheat exports are mainly to neighbouring countries with Bangladesh having the largest share of more than 54 per cent in both volume and value terms in 2020-21. It has entered new wheat markets such as Yemen, Afghanistan, Qatar and Indonesia.

The top ten importing countries for Indian wheat in 2020-21 were Bangladesh, Nepal, United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka, Yemen, Afghanistan, Qatar, Indonesia, Oman and Malaysia.

"We are giving thrust on building infrastructure in the value chain for giving boosts to cereal exports in collaboration with the state governments and other stakeholders such as exporters, farmer producer organizations, transporters etc," said M Angamuthu, Chairman, APEDA.

India accounts for even less than 1 per cent in world wheat export. However, its share has increased from 0.14 per cent in 2016 to 0.54 per cent in 2020. India is the second largest producer of wheat with a share of around 14.14 per cent of world total production in 2020.

India produces around 107.59 million tonnes of wheat annually while a major chunk of it goes towards domestic consumption.

Major wheat growing states in India are Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar and Gujarat.

"The unit price of wheat plays an important role in international trade. While the unit export price of wheat has increased for all countries in the last five years, India's unit export price is slightly higher than that of other countries. This is one of the factors adversely impacting wheat exports from India," it said.

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