Centre eases ban on wheat export: Here are more details
Just days after banning the export of wheat, the Centre on Tuesday announced relaxations its order restricting wheat export issued on Friday. "It has been decided that wherever wheat consignments have been handed over to customs for examination and registered into their systems on or prior to [Friday], such consignments would be allowed for export," the Union Commerce Ministry said in a statement.
- The Centre prohibited all exports of wheat, including high-protein durum and normal soft bread varieties, with effect from Friday.
- This was a sudden "U-turn" from what the Centre had announced two days earlier regarding the export of wheat.
- Earlier last week, it had announced that official delegations will travel to several countries to pitch Indian wheat exports.
Meanwhile, the government has also allowed a wheat consignment headed for Egypt—which was already undergoing loading at Gujarat's Kandla port—after an appeal by the Egyptian Government to permit it. While a 61,500 metric ton wheat consignment was already loaded, the Centre has now permitted the concerned exporter to load the balance of 17,160 metric tons so the full consignment can sail out from Kandla.
The government further reiterated its intentions behind last week's wheat export ban. It said the decision will ensure food security and help control inflation while maintaining India's reliability as a supplier as it will help other countries facing food deficits. The decision is also aimed at providing a clear direction to the wheat market to prevent hoarding of wheat supplies, the government added.
On Saturday, when the Centre announced the ban on the export of wheat, it cited the threat to food security as the major reason behind this move. Apart from national requirements, the ban order also cited the requirement of India's wheat among its neighbors in the region. Notably, the Russia-Ukraine war has destabilized the global agriculture market, given Ukraine is a major wheat-producing nation.
The export ban on wheat would now not be applicable in cases where prior commitments have been made by private trade through a Letter of Credit and in situations where approval is granted by the government to other nations to fulfill their food security needs.
Following the ban, meanwhile, the price of wheat in the international market earlier jumped by almost 6% a bushel (27.21kg or 60 pounds or one million kernels when global markets opened Monday. However, in the domestic market, there was a sharp drop in wheat prices. Reportedly, prices dropped by 4-8% in different states such as Rajasthan, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.