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Exploring wheat import options from five sources, Bangladesh says after India bans export

Of the seven million tonnes of wheat that India exported last year, half went to Bangladesh

May 16, 2022
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The Bangladesh government has been considering wheat imports from five alternate sources, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said, two days after India announced a ban on its wheat export to stabilize rising domestic prices. However, the prices of grain have gone up significantly in Bangladesh following the ban.

Measures are being taken to ensure the import of wheat from five alternative sources, Munshi told reporters on Monday and added that they were also considering importing wheat from war-hit Ukraine.

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine, two of the world's biggest suppliers of wheat, has sent the prices of wheat skyrocketing across the world, with countries scrambling for securing the supply.

The situation got worse last week when India suddenly announced a ban on wheat export to rein in the rising prices of wheat in its domestic market—a move the agriculture ministers of the G7 countries have also expressed their unhappiness over.

“If everyone starts to impose export restrictions or to close the market, that would worsen the crisis,” German Agriculture Minister Cem Ozdemir said during the meeting of G7 agriculture ministers on Saturday. 

Significantly, New Delhi, while announcing the ban, noted that “the food security of India, neighboring countries, and other vulnerable countries is at risk.” Officials also claimed that the move wasn’t a prohibition order but to divert trade to the needy, poorer countries.

Of the seven million tonnes of wheat that India exported last year, half went to Bangladesh.

During last week’s meeting, G7 agriculture ministers have also urged Russia to free up Ukrainian ports, which are vital for the supply of agricultural products. If the blockade at the ports continues, the World Food Program has warned, the world will face “catastrophic” consequences.

Poor countries in Africa and the Middle East will endure severe effects, with UN organizations warning as many as 50 million people facing hunger.
(SAM)

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