After wheat, India now curbs the export of wheat flour and related products

After banning exports, the Centre has now curbed exports of flour and other related products. It has made it mandatory for all exporters to seek prior permission from the inter-ministerial committee on export before undertaking any outbound shipment.

As per a notification from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) issued on July 6, the arrangement will come into force from July 12.

Until then, between July 6 and July 12, shipments where loading on the ship had started before July 6 or where the consignments have been handed over to the customs before the commencement of the notification will be allowed.

However, unlike wheat, there is no outright ban on the exports of wheat flour and related products.

Items such as maida, semolina etc., have also been included in the export curb as per the notification.

The export curb has been imposed despite some softening of wheat flour prices since wheat exports were banned on May 13.

According to sources, these curbs have been imposed to ensure that fly-by-night operators and those in the market to make quick money cannot export unusual quantities of wheat flour to bypass the ban on wheat exports.

Some reports said India usually exports around 6,000-8,000 tonnes of wheat flour between April and June, which has climbed to almost 100,000 tonnes as a fallout of the ban on wheat exports, but this could not be independently verified.

India’s wheat flour exports rose sharply in FY22 in tandem with wheat exports. In FY22, India exported a record over 7 million tonnes of wheat, worth around $2.12 billion, which in value terms was 274 per cent more than the same period last year.

If India hadn’t banned wheat exports, it could have exported around 8-10 million tonnes of wheat. Exports are now likely to get restricted to approximately 4-4.5 million tonnes or even less, provided the government allows all the wheat contracted for exports to be shipped out of India.

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