L’Inde interdit ses exportations de blé, les pays du G7 fulminent

L’Inde interdit ses exportations de blé, les pays du G7 fulminent

War between Ukraine and Russiacase

Due to the extreme weather conditions in the country, New Delhi has decided to block its shipments of wheat outside the country. This has added to the tensions since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The crisis in food raw materials leads to protectionist reflexes. After the recent heat wave that hit the country, India decided on Saturday to ban wheat exports. And this while the country is the second largest producer of wheat in the world, heightening fears for the world supply of cereals already in difficulty since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A decision strongly criticized in the wake of the G7 Agriculture Ministers, who believe that it would not “that aggravate the crisis”.

“If everyone starts imposing such export restrictions or even closing markets, it will only worsen the crisis and it will also hurt India and its farmers,” said German Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir after a meeting with his counterparts in Stuttgart. “We call on India to assume its responsibilities as a member of the G20”, he added in reaction to the announcement from New Delhi. “We have spoken out against export restrictions and call for keeping markets open,” recalled Özdemir.

And even if India had not exported anything for several years in a row in the 2010s, the country was to send abroad 10 million tonnes of wheat in 2022-2023, instead of the 7 million previously announced, a first since 2014. “India’s strong export pace is expected to continue due to its ample stocks and rising world prices,” also estimates the US Department of Agriculture. According to Reuters, the latter also pegged global wheat ending stocks for the 2022-2023 campaign on Thursday at 267 million tonnes, the lowest level in six years, well below analysts’ estimates. out of 272 million. This could augur a world price of wheat still at its highest.

“Our farmers have made sure to take care of not just India but the whole world.”

Piyush Goyal, Minister of Trade and Industry

India decided on this ban to ensure its “Food Safety” after a decline in production due to extreme heat and higher prices as a result of the war in Ukraine. Earlier this month, the government had specified that these climatic conditions would lead, for the first time in six years, to a drop in the wheat harvest, of at least 5% compared to 2021, when some 110 million tonnes had been harvested. Export contracts concluded before the decree may be honoured, the measure only concerns future exports. “Our farmers have made sure to take care of not only India but the whole world,” Trade and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said last month.

These exports can ultimately only be made with special authorization from New Delhi, which will decide on a case-by-case basis to approve requests from other countries. to guarantee their food security. The Ministers of Agriculture meeting in Stuttgart have “recommended” to raise the subject at the meeting of heads of state and government of the G7 in June, where India will be present as a guest. On Thursday, the country had also announced that delegations were going to several North African countries, Turkey, Vietnam, Thailand and even Lebanon to “study ways to strengthen wheat exports from India”. It was not clear this Saturday if these movements were maintained.

Launched on February 24, the Russian military offensive is seriously disrupting agricultural activity in the countryside of Ukraine, which before the invasion was the world’s fourth largest exporter of corn and is on the way to becoming the third largest exporter of wheat. Due to the blockade imposed on the country’s ports, around 20 tonnes of cereals are waiting in silos to be exported and this year’s harvest is threatened.

An invasion which will also aggravate the fragility of countries highly dependent on Russian and Ukrainian cereal or fertilizer exports, particularly in Africa, where food insecurity is already reaching peaks under the effect of conflicts, climatic crises and economic shocks.

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