India prohibits wheat exports with immediate effect to curb rising prices

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India has prohibited wheat exports with immediate effect, the government said in a notification late on Friday, as the world’s second-biggest wheat producer tries to calm local prices.

Shipments of wheat are allowed for letters of credit that have already been issued, the government said.

Global buyers were banking on India for wheat supplies after exports from the Black Sea region plunged since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February.

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The prices of wheat and wheat products in the country have gone up by 15-20 per cent while global wheat prices are at a 14-year high. The escalation in global wheat prices is driven by the ongoing geopolitical turmoil—Russia’s war on Ukraine, which has led to massive supply disruptions.

Several factors are pushing wheat prices up at home. These include international prices of wheat and rising fuel costs, which have a spillover effect on commodities used for ethanol production, such as corn and wheat. With rising global wheat prices, there is a growing demand for wheat to be exported.

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