1. Agriculture World

India’s Wheat Export Ban Comes under Fire Once Again at WTO

The US projected Bangladesh as one of the victims of India's export ban at the WTO's Committee of Agriculture meeting, saying it used to pay less than $400 per tonne for Indian wheat but was now forced to buy from more expensive sellers.

Shivam Dwivedi
Wheat
Wheat

India's wheat export ban has come under fire again at the World Trade Organization in the first agriculture meeting following the recently concluded Ministerial Conference in Geneva, with seven members, including the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Canada, alleging that the ban has further agitated the global food market.

According to a Geneva-based trade official, the ban may not be necessary based on production forecasts for 2022-23 made by institutions such as the US Department of Agriculture.

In defending its decision to impose export restrictions, India stated that global price increases were primarily the result of large buyer behaviour, and that it was unfair to blame it for the same because it was not a major wheat exporter.

India also noted that wheat prices had returned to normal one week after the measure was announced. New Delhi's remark came in response to seven countries, including Brazil and Paraguay, claiming that global wheat prices increased by 6% on the first day of trading on the Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures following India's announcement of a wheat export ban on May 13, 2022.

"The Group of Seven stated that they questioned whether a ban on wheat exports was necessary because various institutions, including the USDA, predict that India will produce nearly 100 million tonnes of wheat in 2022-23 (April-March), which is significantly higher than the average annual volume of production achieved over the previous five years to 2020 of 96 million tonnes (FAO numbers),” said an official.

After an unseasonal heat wave affected the crop and increased domestic prices, New Delhi banned wheat exports. According to the Agriculture Ministry, India's wheat production in the 2021-22 crop season, which ends in June, is expected to be around 106.41 mt, which is 3.8 mt less than the previous year's output. It is also less than the 111.32 mt projected for 2021-22. However, it is 2.53 mt higher than the five-year average wheat production of 103.88 mt.

The US projected Bangladesh as one of the victims of India's export ban at the WTO's Committee of Agriculture meeting, saying it used to pay less than $400 per tonne for Indian wheat but was now forced to buy from more expensive sellers.

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