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India Bans Wheat Exports

Country said it would continue to export to Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka

Wheat via Pixabay April 2021

On May 14, India’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade announced a ban on most wheat exports from the country. The announcement was expected to push global prices higher.

According to reports, the decision to halt wheat exports highlights India’s concerns about high inflation, adding to a spate of food protectionism since the war started.

In its announcement, India blamed a spike in global prices for threatening the security of the vital commodity to itself and other neighboring and vulnerable countries.

India also said it would continue to export to needy nations — the country mainly provides wheat to Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Governments around the world are seeking to ensure local food supplies with agriculture prices surging. Indonesia has halted palm oil exports, while Serbia and Kazakhstan imposed quotas on grain shipments.

Wheat prices climb

Wheat futures climbed by the daily limit on Monday, following India’s announcement.

Soft red winter wheat for July delivery W00, 5.22% was up 49.5 cents, or 4.2%, at $12.27 a bushel after trading as high as $12.48 — its highest since early March.

G-7 foreign ministers warned over the weekend that the war in Ukraine is increasing the risk of a global hunger crisis. This is because Ukraine has been unable to export grains, fertilizers and vegetable oil, while the conflict is also destroying crop fields and preventing a normal planting season.

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