Wheat exports of shipments awaiting customs clearance to be allowed: Centre
New Delhi, May 17: The Centre today said that it has decided to allow shipments of wheat consignments, which were registered with the customs authority before the ban was imposed on exports last week.
"It has been decided that wherever wheat consignments have been handed over to Customs for examination and have been registered into their systems on or prior to May 13, such consignments would be allowed to be exported," the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement.
The Centre decided to allow a wheat consignment to head out following a request by the Egyptian government. The consignment was already under loading at the Kandla Port, the statement read.
The prices of wheat was on the rise since the commencement the new crop supplies. This was mainly due to more exporters buying and projection of lower production of grain.
Further there is a sudden spike in the global prices of wheat due to the disruption of supplies from Russia and Ukraine due to the war. The two countries contribute to nearly 30 per cent of the global export trade.
Pointing out that retail prices of wheat and wheat flour have risen in the past year by up to 19 per cent, Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey on Saturday said the government's decision to ban wheat export is expected to cool down the domestic prices in a week or so.
He said the tight global supply, including a slight fall in wheat output in India, has spiked global prices up sharply. Consequently, the domestic prices of wheat and atta (wheat flour) have also shot up in the last month.
The likely fall in wheat output in India and even in the government's procurement is unlikely to affect the public distribution system (PDS), he said and asserted, "PDS will be run smoothly."
On Friday, the Commerce Ministry imposed a ban on wheat export with immediate effect. However, it has allowed wheat shipments with valid irrevocable letters of credit (LoC) issued on or before the date of the notification.
The country has contracted for the export of 4.5 million tonnes of wheat so far this fiscal. Out of which, 1.46 million tonnes was exported in April, as per the official data.
The Food Secretary, while addressing a press conference along with his Commerce and Agriculture counterpart, said, "Global demand was rising and different countries were putting restrictions. Sentiments were driving prices. We are quite confident, now also the sentiments will push down the prices."
These days in several areas, inflation is imported along with the global prices. And this was happening in the case of wheat also. International wheat prices have been going up. Wheat from other countries was selling as high as USD 420-480 per tonne, he said.