1. Agriculture World

Wheat Exports: Egyptian Delegation to Visit Farms & Facilities in India

The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Exports Development Authority (APEDA) has informed India's wheat exporters that they must register with Egypt's public procurement agency, the General Authority of Supplies and Commodities, which oversees wheat and sugar imports into the north African country.

Shivam Dwivedi
Wheat Field
Wheat Field

An official delegation from Egypt, one of the world's largest wheat importers, will arrive in India on Monday to investigate the possibility of sourcing grain from India to meet domestic demand. Egypt's agriculture quarantine and pest risk analysis officials will visit processing units, port facilities, and farms in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Punjab during their five-day visit. Egypt imported 6.1 million tonnes (mt) of wheat in 2021.

According to sources, Egypt, which imported nearly 81 percent of its wheat imports from Russia and Ukraine in 2021, has informed Indian authorities that it would like to purchase a significant amount of wheat from India. India is not on the list of countries authorized to export wheat to Egypt.

The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Exports Development Authority (APEDA) has informed India's wheat exporters that they must register with Egypt's public procurement agency, the General Authority of Supplies and Commodities, which oversees wheat and sugar imports into the north African country.

According to sources, in response to Egypt's clarification, India has stated that the wheat Ergot plant disease has not been reported anywhere in the country.

The Egyptian delegation's visit to India will come after trade talks and meetings with various wheat-importing countries that are looking into alternative sources of grain because supplies have been disrupted due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. In response to rising global demand, India plans to export a record 10 million tonnes of wheat in 2022-23.

"We will be sending a trade delegation to Morocco, Tunisia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Turkey, Algeria, and Lebanon to explore the possibility of increasing wheat exports from India," said M Angamuthu, chairman of APEDA.

Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh Maritime Board, which operates the Kakinada anchorage port, which is primarily used for rice exports, has communicated that the facility could also be used for wheat exports. Because of its proximity to the ports of Kandla and Mundra, Madhya Pradesh currently accounts for the majority of India's wheat exports.

According to estimates from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, India exported a record 7 million tonnes of wheat in 2021-22, worth $2.05 billion. In the previous fiscal year, approximately half of the wheat was exported to Bangladesh.

In the last decade, India has been the world's largest rice exporter, with export earnings reaching a record $9.6 billion in 2021-22. However, until 2020-21, the country was a minor player in the global wheat trade.

APEDA, which reports to the commerce ministry, has formed a wheat export task force comprised of representatives from various ministries, including commerce, shipping, and railways, as well as exporters.

The Food Corporation of India's current wheat stocks are roughly three times the buffer norm, and the ongoing rabi procurement will help to shore up the stocks. On April 1, FCI had more than 23 mt of wheat stocks, compared to a buffer norm of 7 mt.

Because of the possibility of a surge in exports, government agencies are likely to procure around 33 mt of wheat from farmers during the procurement season (April-June) for the 2022-23 marketing session, compared to a target of 44 mt.

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