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India’s wheat ban affects price over staple cereal globally and Ukraine war: FAO

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The price of wheat has jumped in the international markets after India announced a ban on the export of the staple cereal and due to the reduced production prospects in Ukraine following the Russian invasion, the UN food agency has said.

The FAO Cereal Price Index averaged 173.4 points in May, up 3.7 points (2.2 per cent) from April and as much as 39.7 points (29.7 per cent) above its May 2021 value.

“International wheat prices rose for a fourth consecutive month, up 5.6 per cent in May, to average 56.2 per cent above their value last year and only 11 per cent below the record high reached in March 2008,” it said on Friday.

lightly improved crop conditions in the United States of America, seasonal supplies in Argentina and the imminent start of Brazil’s main maize harvest led maize prices to decline by 3 per cent, however, they remained 12.9 per cent above their level of May 2021, it said.

International rice prices increased for the fifth successive month in May.

Quotations strengthened in all the major market segments, but monthly increases were least pronounced (2.6 per cent) for the most widely traded Indica varieties, amid ample supplies, especially in India, it said.

The FAO Sugar Price Index declined by 1.1 per cent from April, as a bumper crop in India buoyed global availability prospects.

“The recent monthly decline in international sugar price quotations was triggered by limited global import demand and good global availability prospects, mostly stemming from a bumper crop in India,” it said.

Last month, India announced that it was banning wheat exports in a bid to check high prices amid concerns of wheat output being hit by the scorching heat wave.

Wheat exports were allowed on the basis of permission granted by the Indian government to other countries to meet their food security needs and based on the request of their governments.

Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan had told the Ministerial Meeting on ‘Global Food Security Call to Action’ chaired by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken under the US Presidency of the UN Security Council for the month of May that India is “committed to ensuring that such adverse impact on food security is effectively mitigated and the vulnerable cushioned against sudden changes in the global market.

In order to manage our own overall food security and support the needs of neighbouring and other vulnerable developing countries, we have announced some measures regarding wheat exports on May 13, 2022.”

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