Wheat export ban seems to be taking effect as atta prices soften

Wheat export ban seems to be taking effect as atta prices soften
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  • The retail prices of wheat flour fell by at least 5% in the last 10 days.
  • The wheat prices were expected to come down in a week or so after India put a ban on exports.
  • However, the Russia-Ukraine war and export bans by various countries is worsening the global food supply chain.
The retail prices of wheat flour or atta reportedly came down by at least 5% in the last 10 days — bringing relief to inflation-rid Indians.

This is a direct effect of the wheat ban that the Indian government put in place on May 14. The global wheat prices had risen by 6% and surged close to a record-high a week after India’s ban.

“The government's decision to ban wheat export is expected to cool down the domestic prices in a week or so,” said Sudhanshu Pandey, food secretary, after announcing the ban, as per a PTI report.

Pandey assured that the ‘public distribution system’ will run smoothly. The ban intended to bring stability to wheat prices and insulate it against international price movements.

India is the second largest producer and ninth biggest exporter of wheat in the world. However, due its large population, most of the produced crop is consumed within the country, leaving little room for exports.


As per the government data, India exported 14.6 million tonnes of wheat in the month of April this year.

India’s ban creates wheat shortage

Atta prices fell significantly across the value chain - at both wholesale and retail markets. An early monsoon also brought in hope of a good crop this year, leading speculators to lower their prices.

Apart from the war, export bans by various countries are worsening the global food supply chain. The world has about 10 weeks of wheat supplies stored as Russia's invasion of Ukraine entered its fourth month, according to a report by the United Nations on May 19.

Ukraine is considered the ‘world’s breadbasket’ and Russia and Ukraine together account for almost a third of the world’s wheat exports. Drought and extreme weather is also adding to the woes brought on by war and supply chain disruption.

“Conditions today are worse than those experienced in 2007 and 2008. And drought in wheat growing regions around the world is the most extreme it's been in over 20 years. Similar inventory concerns also apply to corn and other grains,” Sara Menker, the CEO of agriculture analytics firm Gro Intelligence, told the UN Security Council.

India also recorded the warmest March, scorching heat wave with temperature upwards 45 degree celsius. This is yet another reason that the government gave to explain its sudden ban on wheat exports.

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