India bans wheat exports; provokes US anger 14.05.2022

India on Saturday banned wheat exports to protect its domestic supplies, sparking criticism from the U.S. and its other G7 members, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Wilsak said.

Wheat prices in the US and around the world are high, making grain particularly expensive for some of the poorest countries. Earlier this year, U.S. Department of Agriculture economists had hoped to increase Indian exports to counter global deficits – especially at a time when Ukrainian exports were virtually halted due to the Russian invasion – but the extreme heat is affecting India’s expected yields.

“India’s harvest has declined as heat has damaged yields in well-known growing northern states.” This is stated in an analysis published this week, FAS USDA. “Production in the European Union is projected to be slightly lower than in the previous year. China, the world’s second-largest producer, is also expecting a slightly smaller harvest. “

India was projected to export 10 million tonnes of wheat in the 2022-23 marketing year, but according to a FAS analysis, that forecast has been reduced to 8 million tonnes.

In a government statement released on Saturday, India said it would allow exports that had already been arranged before the decree was official on Friday.

Talking to Agro-Pulse from the G7 summit in Germany this weekend Wilsak said the US and its G7 partners understand that India’s ban is “definitely the wrong thing to do at the moment because it does create additional market disruptions and could potentially increase prices, which will make inflation and food affordability much worse than they are. I sincerely hope that India will reconsider this ill-considered decision. “

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