Despite decline in wheat production, Centre to send delegations to nine countries to push exports
The Centre will send trade delegations to Morocco, Tunisia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Turkey, Algeria and Lebanon. The demand for wheat from India has gone up in the world market after the Russia-Ukraine war started.
Wheat production may have fallen in this Rabi season, but India has decided to send trade delegations to nine countries to push wheat exports. India has set a target of a record 10 million tonnes (MT) of wheat exports in 2022-23.
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has set up a task force on wheat exports with representatives from various ministries, including commerce, shipping and railways, and exporters under the aegis of the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA). The Department of Commerce has also planned to organize a series of sensitization meetings on exports in major wheat-growing states such as Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
According to the Ministry, the Centre will send trade delegations to Morocco, Tunisia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Turkey, Algeria and Lebanon. The demand for wheat from India has gone up in the world market after the Russia-Ukraine war started. According to estimates by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), India has exported a record 7 MT of wheat in 2021-22 which is valued at $2.05bn. Out of the total shipment, around 50 per cent of wheat was exported to Bangladesh in the last fiscal.
It is only recently that Egypt, one of the world’s biggest importers of wheat, agreed to source wheat from India. Egypt imported 6.1 MT of wheat in 2021 but India was not part of the list of accredited countries which could export wheat to Egypt. More than 80 per cent of Egypt’s wheat imports estimated to be close to $2bn in 2021 were from Russia and Ukraine.
It is to be noted that with an unusual rise in temperature this year, wheat production in India has declined in several states. The government had to reduce its procurement target by more than half. The government had earlier targeted procurement of 44.4 MT, but it has now been reduced to less than 20 MT.