New Delhi: India has suspended wheat exports with immediate effect as part of its efforts to contain rising domestic prices.
The ministry stated that only export shipments for which letters of credit were issued on or before yesterday's notification would be permitted.
Furthermore, according to the notification published by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), the government will allow exports on request from other countries.
According to the notification, the government made the decision "in order to manage the country's overall food security and to meet the requirements of neighboring and other vulnerable countries."
After shipments from the Black Sea region fell after Russia's invasion of Ukraine in late February, global consumers looked to India, the world's second largest wheat producer after China, for supply.
The decision to limit wheat exports comes after a massive crop loss in March due to a heatwave. Inflation, which reached 7.79 percent in April, is also putting pressure on the government.
A top official from India's Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution told Reuters earlier this month that the country has no plans to restrict wheat exports.
"There is no move to curb wheat exports, as the country has sufficient stocks of wheat," Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey had then said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his recent visit to Germany, told the Indian diaspora at an event that farmers of the country "have stepped forward to feed the world" amid a global shortage of wheat. "Whenever humanity is faced with a crisis, India comes up with a solution," he said.
As five years of record harvests, India lowered its wheat output prediction to 105 million tonnes from 111.3 tonnes in February after the warmth reduced crop yields.
The DGFT announced the easing of export conditions for onion seeds in a separate announcement. "With immediate effect, the export policy of onion seeds has been placed in the restricted category," it stated. Onion seeds were previously prohibited from being exported.