The Centre on Wednesday said as much as 2.97 million tonnes (mt) of wheat have been cleared for export up to June 14 in the current fiscal after the shipments were allowed with official approval. It also said exports of atta have been monitored closely so that it does not replace wheat.
Briefing media on the prices of essential items, Union Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey said the domestic wheat prices have been stable at ₹30.33/kg as of June 20, which is much below the international rate of ₹40.96. He said due to the policy measure (ban on export) of the government this has been possible and inflation has been contained.
Request from several nations
Pandey said the Government has received requests from several countries for allowing wheat exports but he refused to share details. Sources, however, said as much as 1.5 lakh tonnes have been sent to Bangladesh after the ban. An inter-ministerial committee has been constituted under a joint secretary, Food Ministry, to consider all proposals under government-to-government deals for wheat exports.
India had banned wheat export on May 13 but agreed to allow only those quantities for which an irrevocable letter of credit (LC) has been opened on or before the ban was imposed. It also has opened the window of export for friendly and food-insecure countries on government-to-government basis.
Pandey said, “the government is monitoring ( atta prices/export) and it will take appropriate steps. Monitoring is needed as wheat is regulated for export and it should not so happen that wheat gets converted into atta and an excessive quantity of flour gets exported. We have to maintain a balance.” He, however, said the export is on the higher side compared with the year-ago period.
As much as 0.26 mt of atta (wheat flour) has been exported between April 1 and June 14, officials said. About 0.57 mt of flour worth ₹1,842 crore was exported in entire 2021-22 fiscal (means less than 50,000 tonnes a month).
Edible oils cool down
Meanwhile, Pandeysaid, “trends in edible oils prices are very positive due to the government’s timely intervention and global developments.” The average retail prices of packaged edible oils have eased slightly, except for groundnut oil, across the country since the beginning of this month and are ruling between ₹150 and ₹190 per litre.
Adani Wilmar and Mother Dairy last week announced reduction in MRP (maximum retail price) for different varieties of cooking oils by ₹10-15 per litre. Both the companies said the stock with new MRPs will hit the market shortly.
As per the data compiled by the Department of Consumer Affairs, the average retail prices of groundnut oil (packaged) stood at ₹188.14 per litre on June 21 against ₹186.43 per litre on June 1. Mustard oil rates have edged down to ₹180.85 on June 21 from ₹183.68 on June 1. The price of vanaspati is flat at ₹165 per kg. The price of soya oil is marginally down to ₹167.67 (₹169.65), while that of sunflower dipped slightly to ₹189.99 (₹193). Palm oil has dropped to ₹152.52 on June 21 from ₹156.4/litre on June 1.