India bans wheat flour exports

The measure is aimed at lowering domestic food prices

India has approved a policy of restricting wheat flour exports, in a bid to bring down prices on the domestic market, the government said in a statement on Thursday.

The move comes after New Dehli banned wheat exports in mid-May to secure domestic supplies amid a heatwave, which threatened the harvest and sent prices soaring to a record high. Last month, the government extended the policy to wheat flour, but stopped short of banning its export, demanding instead that traders secure permission before shipping the product abroad.

However, the ban on wheat exports had the effect of raising demand for Indian wheat flour and accelerated flour exports, which surged 200% year-on-year between April and July 2022. As a result, prices on the domestic market also spiked, forcing the government to intervene.

There was a policy not to prohibit or put any restrictions on the export of wheat flour. Therefore, a partial modification of the policy was required… to ensure food security and put a check on mounting prices,” New Delhi said in a statement on Thursday, as cited by Reuters.

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