US envoy urges India to ‘reconsider’ wheat export ban: ‘Will worsen...’
The United States hopes “India would reconsider” its decision to ban wheat exports which “will make the current global food shortage even worse”, an envoy said on Monday amid concerns with no end in sight to the Ukraine war.
“We have seen the report of India’s decision. We’re encouraging countries not to restrict exports because we think any restrictions on exports will exacerbate the food shortages. We hope they hear the concerns being raised by other countries, that they would reconsider that position,” US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said during a press briefing.
Agriculture ministers from the Group of Seven nations (G7) on Saturday also emphasised that India's decision to ban wheat exports would worsen the global food shortage. "If everyone starts to impose export restrictions or to close markets, that would worsen the crisis," the German agriculture minister was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Global wheat prices surged by a record 6 per cent on Monday with Europe also witnessing a new high as the prices rose to 435 euros ($453) per tonne (100 kg) at the benchmark Euronext market, up from the previous record of 422 euros on Friday, an AFP report said.
Experts say that India’s decision, coupled with the Ukraine war, will create a serious problem globally. Russia and Ukraine jointly accounted for about 30 per cent of global wheat exports before the war.
Ukraine's exports are severely hampered as the conflict has forced it to close its ports, while Russia's exports have been hit by global sanctions.
However, the Indian government has said that it would consider helping the nations that are in need. The wheat production in the country has been affected because of a brutal heatwave.
(With inputs from PTI, AFP, Reuters)
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