India, the second-largest producer of wheat, banned exports of wheat after a scorching heatwave caused a spike in domestic prices, threatening local food security amid strong global demand.
In a Commerce Ministry notice, the Indian government said the decision was made after considering the country’s own needs and those of its neighbors.
The government said that it would still allow exports for contracts that were already issued and upon the request of individual governments with vulnerable food supply.
Wheat prices in India have risen to a record high of as much as 25,000 rupees ($322.71) per metric ton. A record-breaking heatwave during the spring had damaged Indian crops and reduced harvest by as much as a quarter.
The move came as a sudden reversal of India’s initial plans to boost exports to fill in for shortages caused by the war between Russia and Ukraine — the two countries together account for nearly a third of the world’s wheat supply.
Only on Thursday, the Commerce Ministry announced that it would be sending trade delegations to nine countries “for exploring possibilities of boosting wheat exports from India.”
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