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India not considering restricting wheat exports, says food ministry’s senior official

India not considering restricting wheat exports, says food ministry's senior official

India is not considering restricting wheat exports, the food ministry‘s senior official said on Wednesday, following an earlier report that the world’s second-largest producer of the grain was considering limitations following crop damage caused by a heatwave.

Officials from the food and agriculture ministries said Wednesday that India can easily export at least 8 million tonnes of wheat in the current fiscal year, which began in April, and that the government would consider export restrictions only in the event of a sudden, unexpected increase in overseas shipments.

‘There are no plans to restrict wheat exports, as the country has adequate supplies,’ Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey told Reuters. Also Read | India’s wheat export boom is a bonanza to farmers and boon to govt’s budget relief.

Bloomberg previously reported that India was exploring the move after hot weather stifled production prospects, adding to global supply concerns triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has fueled surging food inflation.

According to the article, which cited an unnamed source, senior authorities are debating the action and will recommend it to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will then decide.

India, which has had five consecutive years of record harvests, has reduced its wheat output prediction to 105 million tonnes from 111.3 tonnes in February, owing to crop yield reductions caused by a sudden steep rise in temperatures in mid-March.

Modi told the Indian diaspora in Germany on Tuesday that Indian farmers are stepping up to sell wheat on the global market as many countries struggle to satisfy demand.

‘Big nations are concerned about food security, and India’s farmers are stepping up to feed the globe at this time,’ Modi added.