The Centre’s sudden ban on wheat exports has brought the export pipeline to a complete halt. According to sources, there are about 7,000 trucks loaded with wheat waiting at various ports across the country, of which 4,000 trucks have gone from Madhya Pradesh alone.
On May 13, the Centre issued a notification, prohibiting the export of wheat with immediate effect in the “interest of national food security.”
The ban was imposed on fresh exports as a result of the crop damage due to severe heatwave and as part of the government’s efforts to control rising domestic prices.
However, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said the export shipments, for which irrevocable letters of credit (LoC) have been issued on or before May 13, will be allowed. The DGFT also said wheat exports will be allowed to countries to meet their food security needs, based on the approval by the Centre.
Exporters and millers are now refusing to pay traders the amount decided on prior to the issue of the government notification and also not accepting deliveries stationed at the ports, UNI quoted Rahul Patwa, a local wheat trader from Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh, as saying.
“The transporters are now threatening us with taking away wheat if the trucks don’t get offloaded in the coming days,” Patwa said.
Record-high wheat prices
Meanwhile, wheat prices touched a record high on May 16 following India’s ban on export of the commodity.
The price of wheat price soared to 435 euros ($453) per tonne at the beginning of trade in the European markets on May 16. Prices were already on the rise due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which is a major exporter of wheat.