India’s Wheat Export Ban Won’t Affect Global Markets, Says Piyush Goyal; Know Details

India’s wheat export rules will not affect global markets, India’s Trade and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said recently, claiming that the country’s wheat exports account for less than 1 percent of world trade. India had earlier this month imposed a ban on wheat exports after a never-before-seen heat wave affected grain production, and domestic prices rose to record highs. Since the ban, troubled countries have filed requests to overturn the decision, according to reports.

However, the country’s minister, Piyush Goyal, denied that the ban on wheat exports would affect global trade. “India’s wheat exports are less than 1% of world trade and our export regulation should not affect global markets. We continue to allow exports to vulnerable countries and neighbors,” the minister said at Davos’ annual meeting.

India bans wheat exports: Who will be affected?

Among the wheat-exporting countries, India was ranked 19th in 2020, 35th in 2019, 36th in 2018, 36th in 2017, 37th in 2016, showing that India has an insignificant share (0.47 percent), while Seven countries, including Russia, the United States, Canada and France, have the largest share of the total quantity of wheat exports in the last five years. A negotiation-based approach instead of conflict would have prevented the removal of almost a quarter of wheat exports from Russia and Ukraine.

Still, since the conflict between Russia and Ukraine began on February 24 this year, India has exported $ 177 million worth of wheat and $ 473 million in March and April this year, despite the challenges of low wheat production due to the extreme heat wave that engulfed the northern part of the country which caused shrunken grain and the resulting reduction in yield per acre.

The Directorate-General for Foreign Trade (DGDT) had stated in a notification dated 13 May that the ban on wheat exports was introduced due to a sudden increase in the price of cereals on the global market and was exercised as part of measures to control rising domestic prices. In the order, the government also said that the wheat export ban was put in place to ensure overall food safety. However, this would not apply in cases where previous commitments have been made by private trade through letters of credit, where the government gives permission to other countries to meet their food supply needs.

Although the ban on wheat exports aims to address the overall food security situation in India and to support the needs of neighboring and vulnerable countries, many nations have called for relocation. Kristalina Georgieva, head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has called on India to reconsider and say that the nation can play a key role in global food security.

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