The Centre has imposed restrictions from July 12 on the export of wheat products, including flour, wholemeal atta and semolina, after traders were found exporting these to avoid the May 13 ban on private exports of the grain, according to a Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) notification issued late on Wednesday.
The country was expecting to export large quantities of wheat as the government forecast a record output of 111 million tonnes in February. A heatwave from mid-March withered the winter tack, forcing the government to cut production estimates by at least 5%.
The new policy states that the export of wheat flour and wheat-derived products remains “free” but these would be “subject to approval” of an inter-ministerial panel.
The wheat prices globally have plaited since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as several importers face shortages.
“Traders had been exporting wheat products without restrictions to work around the wheat export ban,” an official aware of the matter said.
The World Bank on July 5 said the war in Ukraine, supply-chain disruptions, and the continued economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic are reversing years of development gains and pushing food prices to all-time highs.
“Record-high food prices have triggered a global crisis that will drive millions more into extreme poverty, magnifying hunger and malnutrition while threatening to erase hard-won gains in development.”