The country's wheat exports are likely is cross 100 lakh tonnes (10 million tonnes) during 2022-23, due to increasing demand for the commodity in the world market, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on Sunday.
The exports have crossed 70 lakh tonnes in 2021-22 (worth over Rs 15,000 crore) as against 21.55 lakh tonnes (over Rs 4,000 crore) in 2020-21.
It was only two lakh tonnes (Rs 500 crore) in 2019-20.
The minister said wheat exports have helped several countries in meeting the requirements of food security.
''We will continue to export wheat in a big way and meet the needs of the countries that are not getting their supplies from the conflict areas, and my own sense is that this time we will probably exceed our wheat exports (of) over 100 lakh tonnes comfortably,'' he told reporters here. Russia and Ukraine together account for almost a quarter of the global wheat supply. Their wheat crop will mature in August and September this year.
Farmers are focused on increasing production also, and regions like Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh are exporting in a big way from last year, he added.
India is in final talks to start wheat export to Egypt, while discussions are going on with countries like China, Turkey, China and Iran to begin the outbound shipments of the commodity.
Director-General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) Santosh Kumar Sarangi said that there is also an effort on the part of the departments of commerce and food and public distribution to facilitate exports from other ports.
Maximum exports are routed through Kandla port.
Discussions are on with railways for facilitation of wheat exports from different ports, such as Vizag, Kakinada, and Nhava Sheva, Sarangi added.
India exports wheat mainly to neighbouring countries, with Bangladesh having the largest share of more than 54 per cent in both volume and value terms in 2020-21. It has entered new wheat markets such as Yemen, Afghanistan, Qatar and Indonesia.
Wheat exports to Bangladesh have crossed 3.5 million tonnes in 2021-22.
The top ten importing countries for Indian wheat in 2020-21 were Bangladesh, Nepal, United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka, Yemen, Afghanistan, Qatar, Indonesia, Oman and Malaysia.
India accounts for even less than 1 per cent of world wheat export. However, its share has increased from 0.14 per cent in 2016 to 0.54 per cent in 2020. India is the second-largest producer of wheat. It had contributed around 14.14 per cent of the world's total production in 2020.
India produces around 107.59 million tonnes of wheat annually, while a major chunk of it goes towards domestic consumption. Major wheat growing states in India are Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar and Gujarat.
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