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Export Ban: Government May Allow Shipment of Wheat Stuck in Ports

New Delh, May 20 India is considering allowing traders to ship some of their wheat sitting in ports after a sudden grain export ban prevented traders from loading cargo, sources said on Thursday commercial and governmental.

New Delhi banned wheat exports on Saturday as an intense heat wave hit production and domestic prices hit a record high.

The sudden ban on wheat exports trapped around 1.8 million tons of grain in ports, potentially forcing traders to suffer heavy losses.

On Tuesday, the government authorized the shipment of grain awaiting customs clearance. But traders are lobbying the government to ease its ban further.

The administration is reviewing demands from wheat traders, government sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

“We will verify the merits of the request and no genuine merchants will be harassed,” said one of the sources who did not wish to be identified according to official rules.

The government may request export data for the past few months to ensure that these are bona fide dealers.

The government is aware that many genuine exporters are stranded due to the sudden ban, said a New Delhi-based dealer with a global trading company.

“The government is trying to give concessions in a way that protects genuine exporters,” said the concessionaire, who declined to be named in accordance with company policy.

The sudden ban halted trading in many wholesale grain markets. Domestic wheat prices fell more than 4%.

Along with traders, transporters are also growing impatient, their trucks waiting at ports to unload wheat.

“One-off easings are not going to help and the government needs to address the issue in the coming days to avoid a chain of (payment) defaults,” the New Delhi-based dealer said.

Published on

May 20, 2022