India keeps wheat window open despite rising prices

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India keeps wheat window open despite rising prices

India is going to keep a window open for exporting wheat to food-deficit countries at the government level despite restrictions announced two days earlier.

India's Commerce Secretary B.V. R. Subrahmanyam told reporters that the government will allow private companies to meet previous commitments to export nearly 4.3 million tons of wheat until July. India exported 1 million tons of wheat in April.

A notice by the Directorate of Foreign Trade on Friday said a spike in global prices for wheat was threatening the food security of India and neighboring and vulnerable countries.

Since the beginning of the year, global wheat prices have risen by more than 40%.

Ukraine and Russia accounted for a third of the world's wheat and barley exports before the war. Since Russia's Feb. 24 invasion, Ukraine's ports have been blocked and civilian infrastructure and grain silos have been destroyed.

India's wheat harvest has suffered from a record-shattering heat wave that is stunting production.

He said India's wheat production has fallen by three million tons from 106 million tons last year. In India, wheat prices have gone up by 20 -- 40%.

Subrahmanyam said that the current rise in prices seems to be a panic reaction rather than a reaction based on a collapse in supply or sudden shooting of demand.

India consumes most of the wheat it produces, even though it is the world's second largest producer of wheat. It had set a goal of exporting 10 million tons of grain in 2022 -- 23 in order to capitalize on the global disruptions to wheat supplies from the war and find new markets for its wheat in Europe, Africa and Asia.

In India last year, a total production of 109 million tons of wheat was consumed, with 90 million tons of wheat being consumed, according to Subrahmanyam, who said India exported 7 million tons of wheat last year.