IMF welcomes India’s recent decision to relax its ban on wheat exports, and let some shipments.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is worried that some countries are restricting the export of food and fertiliser, which can make global prices go up and market volatility worse. The IMF also liked that India recently decided to loosen its ban on wheat exports and let some shipments go through.
A top official at the IMF said that since the war in Ukraine started, about 30 countries have cut back on exports of basic goods like food and fuel.
‘We are very worried about the use of export restrictions on food and fertilizer, which can make global price hikes and market volatility worse. So, this isn’t just about India,’ IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters at a news conference here on Thursday.
‘From what we’ve seen, about 30 countries have cut back on exports of basic goods like food and fuel since the war in Ukraine started. So, this makes us very worried. Kristalina Georgieva, who is in charge of the IMF, has spoken out a lot about this. Gita Gopinath, who is the First Deputy Managing Director, talked about it again yesterday,’ he said in response to a question about India.
‘On India, we’re glad that India recently decided to loosen its ban on wheat exports and let some of them go ahead. This includes shipments that were already planned and exports to countries that need food security. And we hope that more bans will be lifted, not just by India but by all the countries that have them,’ Rice said.
India said last month that it would stop exporting wheat because of high prices and fears that the heat wave would hurt wheat production. The UN food agency says that the price of wheat has gone up on international markets because India said it would stop exporting the basic food and because Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has made it less likely that wheat will be grown there.
Later, the Indian government eased the ban on wheat exports by letting shipments that had already been sent to customs before May 13 go through.
Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan told the Ministerial Meeting on ‘Global Food Security Call to Action,’ which was led by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during the US Presidency of the UN Security Council for the month of May, that India is ‘committed to ensuring that such negative effects on food security are effectively mitigated and the vulnerable are protected against sudden changes in the global market.’
‘On May 13, 2022, we will take some steps to limit wheat exports in order to protect our own food security and meet the needs of vulnerable developing countries nearby and elsewhere,’ he said.
‘I want to make it clear that these measures allow exports to countries that need to meet their food security needs if they get permission. This will be done if the governments in question ask for it. Such a policy will make sure that we really help those who need it the most,’ he said, adding that India will do its part to improve food security around the world.