May 16, 2022

India bans wheat exports

In an apparent bid to curb local price surge, India has temporarily banned wheat exports with immediate effect.

The country - the world's second-biggest wheat producer - saw a decadal high in wheat prices in April in a worrying development.

The government statement comes as the Ukraine war - which began in February - enters the 12th week and the supply from the Black Sea has been restricted for nations amid the conflict. The United Nations has been repeatedly raising concerns over an imminent food shortage.

Still permitted are requests approved by New Delhi from other governments reeling from record-high prices "to meet their food security needs", according to an order dated May 13.

Meanwhile, India recorded its warmest March on record -- blamed on climate change -- and in recent weeks has seen a scorching heatwave with temperatures upwards of 45 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit).

This hit farmers in wheat-producing northern India, prompting the government to predict output would fall at least five percent this year from 109 million tonnes in 2021.