New Delhi: India has been allowed to export a small amount of wheat after a ban. The nod for the shipment of 469,202 tonnes will take place since the government announced the banning of wheat exports last month. At least 1.7 million tonnes are lying at ports and may be ruined due to monsoon rains.
A senior government official said wheat is mainly supplied to Bangladesh, the Philippines, Tanzania, and Malaysia.
The ban pulled wheat exports down to 1.13 million tonnes in May from a record 1.46 million tonnes in April, the official said.
India, the second largest producer of wheat, decided to ban its export on May 14 due to poor production of wheat and escalating domestic prices that broke all records.
Before the declaration of the wheat ban, exporters moved a big chunk of wheat to ports because there was an expectation of bumper crop production, but excessive heat during March and April changed the wheat production scenario.
“Kandla and Mundra ports have maximum wheat stocks,” said a Mumbai-based dealer with a global trading firm. “Together, they are holding more than 1.3 million tonnes.”
The government should issue export permits on time because wheat at the ports was in loose form and therefore susceptible to monsoon rains, said a New Delhi-based dealer with a global trading firm.
The Mumbai-based dealer said that taking the wheat out of ports and into interior towns for local consumption was impractical, as traders have to face additional losses on loading and the cost of transportation.