India is the world’s second largest wheat producer.
Food scarcity concerns are now expanding across the globe. India has recently banned wheat exports, citing a risk to its food security.
A notice in the government gazette by the Directorate of Foreign Trade, dated Friday, said a spike in global prices for wheat was threatening the food security of India and neighboring and vulnerable countries.
A key aim is to control rising domestic prices. Global wheat prices have risen by more than 40% since the beginning of the year.
Before the war, Ukraine and Russia accounted for a third of global wheat and barley exports. Since Russia´s Feb. 24 invasion, Ukraine´s ports have been blocked and civilian infrastructure and grain silos have been destroyed.
Though it is the world’s second-largest producer of wheat, India consumes most of the wheat it produces. The nation’s crop has also been impacted by drought.
After five years of bumper crops, a searing heat wave and a lack of rain have reduced yields. Authorities say the rise in prices has led to hoarding by some wheat traders.
Last week, the Indian government lowered its wheat production estimate by 5.7% to 105 million metric tons for the crop year ending June. The government had earlier projected wheat production at a record of about 111 million tons, which would have made it the sixth season in a row to produce a surplus. India produced nearly 110 million tons of wheat in the previous crop year.
“It’s all due to early summer,” India’s food secretary, Sudhanshu Pandey, said last week.
India has sweltered through its hottest March and April in more than 100 years, causing a 6% loss to the yield, Mr. Pandey said, with top grain-producing states of Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh among the worst-affected.
However, India still plans to honor grain shipment commitments it has already made.
The government said it would still allow exports backed by already issued letters of credit and to countries that request supplies “to meet their food security needs”.
Global buyers were banking on supplies from the world’s second-biggest wheat producer after exports from the Black Sea region plunged following Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine. Before the ban, India had aimed to ship a record 10 million tonnes this year.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.