India Bans Most Wheat Exports

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Over the weekend, it was confirmed that India has banned the exports of wheat with some exceptions. The move, announced in a notice from the country’s Commerce Ministry (view here), comes as global supplies of wheat have tightened amid the ongoing Russia/Ukraine war. Both of those countries are major suppliers of wheat but production has been disrupted with the war and blockades of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports.

India is the world’s second-largest wheat producer and has about 1o percent of the the world’s grain reserves according to the USDA. In April, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi had seemed to indicated to President Joe Biden that the country would be ready to help supply the world to avoid shortages of the major food commodity. However, it appears India is keeping most of it’s wheat at home to avoid shortages for its own people.

The Commerce Ministry notice on Friday said that wheat exports were immediately banned, with some exceptions, because a sudden spike in the crop’s price had threatened India’s food security. The move could partially be due to a heat wave that has shortened the country’s crop more than anticipated.

U.S. wheat futures had spiked in Sunday night GLOBEX trading after the weekend announcement with Chicago Wheat futures at one point up the 70 cent limit in overnight trading.

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