India prohibits wheat export after decadal high in prices reported
The development comes as the Ukraine war - set to enter 12th week - has triggered huge global food crisis.
In an apparent bid to curb local price surge, India has temporarily banned wheat exports with immediate effect. The country - the world's second-biggest wheat producer - saw a decadal high in wheat prices in April in a worrying development.
The government statement comes as the Ukraine war - which began in February - enters the 12th week and the supply from the Black Sea has been restricted for nations amid the conflict. The United Nations has been repeatedly raising concerns over an imminent food shortage.
"The export policy of wheat … is prohibited with immediate effect…," the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification on Friday night.
However, wheat exports will be allowed on the basis of permission granted by the government to other countries to meet their food security needs on the basis of their requests. “Export will be allowed in case of shipments where an irrevocable letter of credit is issued on or before the date of notification. Export will be allowed on the basis of permission granted by the government of India to other countries to meet their food security needs and based on the request of the governments,” reads the statement.
"The export policy of onion seeds has been put under the restricted category, with immediate fact," it said, news agency PTI reported.
India was hoping to help other nations amid the Ukraine war. Last month, after a conversation with US president Joe Biden, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said: “Today the world is facing an uncertain situation as nobody is getting what they want. Petrol, oil and fertilizers are hard to procure as all the doors are getting closed. Everybody wants to secure their stocks after this (Russia-Ukraine) war began."
“The world is facing a new challenge now—the food stock of the world is diminishing. I was speaking to the US President, and he also raised this issue… If the WTO gives permission, India is ready to supply food stock to the world from tomorrow," he had added.
(With inputs from Reuters, PTI, ANI)