India bans wheat exports, cites food security and soaring prices

by | May 14, 2022 | World

India has banned exports of wheat effective immediately, citing a risk to food security, partly due to the war in Ukraine and as a scorching heatwave curtailed output and domestic prices hit a record high.Although not one of the world’s top wheat exporters, India’s ban could drive global prices to new peaks given already tight supply, hitting poor consumers in Asia and Africa particularly hard.
Agriculture ministers from the G7 industrialised nations immediately condemned India’s decision on Saturday.
“If everyone starts to impose export restrictions or to close markets, that would worsen the crisis,” German agriculture minister Cem Ozdemir said at a news conference in Stuttgart.
“We call on India to assume its responsibility as a G20 member,” Ozdemir said.
Government officials in New Delhi said on Saturday that India would still allow exports backed by already issued letters of credit and to countries that request supplies “to meet their food security needs”.
The ban would not be in perpetuity and could be revised, the officials told a news conference.
A spike in the global prices for wheat threatened the food security of India and neighbouring and vulnerable countries, India’s Directorate of Foreign Trade said in a notice in the government gazette dated Friday.
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