India exported wheat worth USD 473 million in April weeks after announcing ban

Weeks after the Centre banned exports of wheat to control price rise, the Central government on Wednesday announced that India in March exported wheat worth USD 177 million and USD 473 million in April 2022.

While India’s expected production of wheat for 2022-23 remains at near 105 million metric tonnes (MMT), it also needs to fulfil domestic consumption requirements for its 130 crore population (30 MMT required for food security schemes such as National Food Security Act (NFSA), Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMJKAY) and other welfare schemes for near 80 crores poor and vulnerable population). Further, India provided humanitarian assistance to neighbouring nations and other vulnerable countries, according to the government data.

In FY 2021-22, the Centre said that 42.7 MMT of wheat has been distributed under NFSA and PMGKAY.

Among the wheat exporting countries, the data read that India has ranked been 19th in 2020, 35th in 2019, 36th in 2018, 36th in 2017 and 37th in 2016.

“It shows India has an insignificant share (0.47 per cent) while seven countries (Russia, the USA, Canada, France, Ukraine, Australia, Argentina) have the largest share in the overall quantity of wheat export in the past five years. A negotiation-based approach instead of conflict would have prevented removal of nearly a quarter of wheat exports from Russia and Ukraine,” it said.

“Still, after the conflict began on February 24, 2022, India has exported wheat worth USD 177 million and USD 473 million in March 2022 and April 2022 respectively despite facing challenges of low wheat production as a result of an extreme heat wave that enveloped the northern part of the country that caused shrivelled grains and resulted in drop in yield per acre.”

Earlier this month, sources told news agency ANI that the Centre’s wheat procurement dropped by 53 per cent so far in the 2022-23 as compared to the year-ago period due to aggressive buying by private players for export purposes.

On Wednesday, the government data also stated that the export restrictions have been a regular feature of major food producers which has adversely affected India too. And in order to ensure food security of India, its neighbours and vulnerable countries, India has taken the step towards the regulation of wheat exports.

(Inputs from ANI)

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