Russia to stop exporting wheat to India – expert

India’s wheat production for 2016-17 is forecasted to reach 96.64 million tonnes. Source: Reuters

India’s wheat production for 2016-17 is forecasted to reach 96.64 million tonnes. Source: Reuters

Following New Delhi’s decision to change its fumigation rule on wheat exports, Russian companies may stop supplying wheat to India, says Andrey Sizov of SovEcon.

The Indian government has asked wheat exporters from Russia, France and Ukraine to fumigate their cargoes with methyl bromide, an insect control gas that is formally banned in these countries. Previously, food shipments were fumigated at India’s ports, and now New Delhi has put an end to this practice.

“It is highly likely that Russian companies will simply stop supplying wheat to India,” Andrey Sizov, managing director of SovEcon, a leading agriculture consultancy in Moscow, told RIR. “In the short term this does not really hurt Russia because even if these changes were not introduced supplies (to India) would have still begun to decrease” he said. “India has already ordered 5 million tonnes of wheat and they are close to meeting their import demand.”

India traditionally imports large amounts of wheat when domestic producers fail to meet the local demand. According to the Indian Ministry of Agriculture, India’s wheat production for 2016-17 is forecasted to reach 96.64 million tonnes, an increase of over 4 million tonnes from a year earlier.

India produced 86.53 million tonnes of wheat in 2014-15.

“The Indian authorities are using these changes to reassure local farmers that they are making the environment more favourable for them by limiting the activities of exporters in the country,” Sizov adds.

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