June 2, 2023

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India curbs wheat flour exports at record prices

MUMBAI, Aug 25 (Reuters) – India’s cabinet on Thursday approved a ban on wheat flour exports to control prices in the local market, the government said in a statement.

New Delhi banned wheat exports in mid-May, as a severe heat wave reduced production and domestic prices hit record highs. In July, India said it would require operators to obtain permits before exporting wheat flour.

The ban on wheat exports boosted demand for Indian wheat flour, with the country’s flour exports up 200% in the April-July 2022 period from a year earlier and pushing up prices in the local market, according to the government.

“There was a policy of not banning or banning the export of wheat flour. Therefore, a partial change in policy is needed to ensure food security and control price hikes (…),” he said.

Local wheat price It hit a record high of 24,500 rupees ($306.71) a tonne this week.

The figure represents an increase of nearly 20% from the recent low hit after the government’s sudden ban on exports on May 14.

The move dashed hopes that India could fill the market gap left by a slump in exports from the Black Sea region following Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

($1 = 79.8800 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Rajendra Jadav; Editing in Spanish by Javier Lira)

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