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India Will Not Curb Wheat Exports

Wheat prices jump as earlier report said heat wave damaged India's crop

India is not moving to curb wheat exports, the top official at the food ministry said on Wednesday, following an earlier report that the world’s second biggest producer of the grain was mulling restrictions after a heat wave damaged crop.

Food and farm ministry officials said on Wednesday that India can still easily export at least 8 million tonnes of wheat in the current fiscal year that began in April, and that the government would only consider export curbs after any sudden, unexpected surge in overseas shipments.

“There is no move to curb wheat exports, as the country has sufficient stocks of wheat,” Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey told Reuters.

Chicago wheat futures soared Wednesday on reports that India would restrict exports as a drought threatened its production.

Record wheat crop

In April, India reported bumper harvests and overflowing grain bins that would help it meet wheat import needs of the world's top buyers as Russia's Ukraine invasion hits supplies from the Black Sea region.

India, the world's second biggest wheat producer, said it was prepared to meet any extra demand for wheat from buyers in south Asia and Southeast Asia, and also from countries further afield in Europe, West Asia and North Africa.

India's wheat production is pegged at a record 111.32 million tonnes - making it the sixth season in a row that the country has produced a surplus.

Wheat stocks at government warehouses totaled 19 million tonnes on April 1, significantly higher than a target of 7.46 million tonnes.

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