Early onset of summer also reduced wheat yield

The decision to ban wheat exports came after the ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution raised concerns over prices and food grain availability for food security needs, sources in the trade and industry told ET.

The commerce ministry was of the view that India should utilize the strong global demand to export more. That actual production was likely to be much lower than even the downward revised amount, also clinched the case for an export ban.

The government had earlier this month cut its initial wheat production estimate from 111.3 million tonnes to 105 million tonnes following adverse weather conditions. The early onset of summer this year has also reduced yields.

Internally, the estimate is that production will only be 98 million tonnes, while according to trade estimates, it may go further down to 95 million tonnes or even lower.

India had exported 1.4 million tonnes of wheat in April. Earlier this month, the government had sent trade delegations to different countries to explore exports opportunities.

Officials from the apex agricultural exports promotion APEDA had visited Karnal a few days ago to encourage and guide farmers to export wheat.

Relaxed Norms for Punjab, Haryana

The central government has relaxed norms for shrivelled wheat grains by up to 18% for Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.

This will give relief to farmers who suffered losses due to a fall in yield of the wheat crop and will also help boost procurement for the central pool.

Farmers from these states had complained that the early onset of summer this year resulted in wheat grains shriveling by nearly 18%, much more than the allowable limit of 6%.

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