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Egypt to import wheat from India

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NEW DEHLI: Indian minister of Commerce and Industry and Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution said Egypt, one of the largest importers of wheat from Russia and Ukraine, to import Indian wheat amid a sharp dip in global wheat production largely due to the conflict between the two countries.

Minister Piyush Goyal met the Egyptian minister of Economic Development Hala El-Said on Monday in Dubai where the details of the trade were discussed.

In 2020, Egypt imported wheat worth $ 1.8 billion from Russia and $ 600 million worth from Ukraine.

India is also looking at increasing its share of exports to countries where it already sends wheat such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Middle East, Yemen, Korea, the Philippines, Nepal, and Indonesia. At present India’s wheat contribution to these countries’ import basket ranges between 2-10%.

“The idea is to increase our contribution to their import basket sharply.” The official said without wanting to be named.

The country is also looking at new export destinations like Nigeria which imports around 13 million Tonnes (MT) of wheat from Russia and Ukraine Turkey which imports 11 MT and Vietnam which imports 4 MT. India’s contribution to Vietnam is 1 % of its total wheat basket while it does not export any wheat to Nigeria and Turkey.

India is looking at a wheat production of 11 MT and its central stock of wheat is expected to be 20 MT by the end of March. “Therefore, there is a huge scope to increase exports,” the official added.

India is also looking at strengthening the quality check on wheat and certifications to bag more orders. The country plans to increase the number of government-approved labs with better infrastructure to control certain pests.

India produces around 107.59 million MT of wheat annually and the major wheat-growing states in India are Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, and Gujarat.

State governments are also exploring various measures to increase wheat exports. Madhya Pradesh, the second largest wheat-producing state after Uttar Pradesh, has called a meeting of exporters to facilitate private wheat procurement for exports.

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