The price of wheat is rising sharply on the international market following India’s export ban. On the Chicago Board of Trade, it rose 5.9 percent on Sunday, the most in two months.
The world’s second-largest wheat producer, India, came up with the export ban last week after a heatwave adversely affected the crop that pushed domestic prices to record levels. On world markets, wheat prices have risen by about 60 percent this year, pushing up the cost of everything from bread to noodles.
The Indian government has said it will still allow exports to countries that require supplies “to meet their food security needs.” It added that the export ban is not permanent and can be lifted.
The export ban does not apply to countries such as Egypt, whose government announced the purchase of half a million tonnes of wheat from India on Sunday.
New Delhi’s decision was criticized by agriculture ministers from the G7 group, which met in Germany and comprised representatives of the world’s seven largest advanced economies that dominate global trade and the international financial system.
“If they all started to apply export restrictions or close markets, it would worsen the crisis,” German Food and Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir said at a meeting with representatives from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain, and the United States.
India is not a significant wheat exporter because most of its crop is sold in domestic markets. However, Ukrainian exports plummeted after the Russian invasion.
And with drought and flooding threatening crops in other major producers, commodity traders expected supplies from India to make up some of the shortfalls.
Before the export ban, India had targeted a record 10 million tonnes of wheat for the world market this year. Its main customers are other Asian countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand.