Ukraine war, India ban push wheat prices higher in global markets

Monday, 16 May 2022

Domestic prices in the South Asian country ascended to a record high while the benchmark wheat index rose to 5.9 per cent in the US city of Chicago, bdnews24.com reports citing the BBC.

In recent months, consumers have been spending more money on everything from bread and cakes to noodles and pasta as wheat prices soared on world commodity markets.

India, however, said that it will export to countries that have requested supplies "to meet their food security needs," and where exports are backed by letters of credit, according to the BBC.

Indian government officials also said the ban was not permanent and could be revised.

Agriculture ministers from the Group of Seven nations meeting in Germany have criticised the decision as India is the world's second-biggest wheat producer.

German food and agriculture minister Cem Ozdemir said, “If everyone starts to impose export restrictions or close markets, that would worsen the crisis.”

India, despite being a massive producer, has not previously been a major exporter due to the high domestic demand for wheat.

But Ukraine's wheat exports fell drastically after the Russian invasion while droughts and floods threatened crops in other major producers.

Commodity traders were expecting supplies from India in this sudden crisis to make up for part of the shortfall.

India, before announcing the ban, had said it was aiming to ship a record 10 million tonnes of wheat this year, according to the BBC.