Disruption in Global Wheat supplies throws open opportunities for India to boost wheat exports
- Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent western sanctions on Russia have affected wheat exports from the Black Sea region
- It has further impacted food security in several countries, especially in Africa and West Asia.
- The disruption to global wheat supplies in turn has thrown open opportunities that India’s grain exporters are eyeing, especially given the domestic surplus availability of the cereal.
- Recently Egypt, which is one of the largest importers of wheat, had agreed to source the cereal from India.
Status of India’s wheat exports
- Globally, Russia is the market leader for wheat exports (almost 15% share) and Ukraine is also a major producer.
- Exports from these two countries have been hit by the war and sanctions.
- India expects to produce 112 million tonnes of wheat in the current season.
- The government requires 24-26 million tonnes a year for its food security programmes.
- With surplus wheat production, opportunities have opened up for exports.
- More countries are turning to India because of the competitive price, acceptable quality, availability of surplus wheat and geopolitical reasons.
New markets which are expected to buy from India
- The different grades of wheat produced in India are of the milling quality.
- So, apart from Egypt and Jordan, countries in East Africa are also likely to source the foodgrain from India.
- India has sent out dossiers to over 20 countries and talks are on at different levels with all these countries.
Steps taken to facilitate the exports
- The Commerce Ministry has put in place an internal mechanism to facilitate it
- It has also got the paperwork ready for the related sanitary and phytosanitary applications to help facilitate shipments.
- The railways are providing rakes on priority to move the wheat
- Testing labs and ports are also geared up for facilitating large exports of wheat
- The government is optimistic about the long-term export opportunities not only for wheat, but for all cereals including millets and superfoods. The scope is good for wheat exports if Indian wheat prices remain competitive and geopolitical and weather conditions stay favourable. India needs to establish itself in the new markets too and the government should facilitate it.
- Geographical location of Russia, Ukraine, Egypt and Jordan
Q With a forecast of surplus wheat production this year , the disruption in Global Wheat supplies throws open opportunities for India to boost wheat exports. Discuss