File photo of wheat crop being threshed in Punjab.

File photo of wheat crop being threshed in Punjab.

Wheat exports witness a surge of 387% at $ 1,742 million in 2021-22

New Delhi, March 23, 2022

Wheat exports from India witnessed a surge of 387% at $ 1,742 million in 2021-22 (April-January) as compared to $ 340.17 million in the same period of the previous year, according to the Ministry of Commerce & Industry.

Amid this record surge in wheat exports in the current fiscal, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) last week organized a meeting of key stakeholders in the value chain for promoting exports to those countries which have a huge shipment potential, the Ministry said in a press release.

The meeting followed directions from the Ministry to scale up the shipments to alleviate any global supply chain disruptions given the geopolitical situation.

The meeting was chaired by APEDA chairman M Angamuthu with the participation of key stakeholders such as traders, exporters, port officials, policy influencers from the Ministries of Food & Consumer Affairs, Railways and officials from various State Governments.

At the meeting, the Railways assured to make available sufficient rakes to meet immediate demand for additional wheat transport. Port authorities have also been asked to augment dedicated terminals along with dedicated containers for wheat.

Given the bumper wheat production estimation, the APEDA has asked all stakeholders to strengthen their infrastructure for facilitating hassle-free wheat export.

Exports during April-January of the previous fiscal year had touched $ 340.17 million.

India has reported wheat exports worth $ 2352.22 million in the last three years, including the first ten months of the current fiscal 2021-22. In 2019-20, the wheat exports were worth $ 61.84 million which rose to $ 549.67 million in 2020-21.

Though India is not among the top ten wheat exporters in the global trade, its rate of growth in exports has surpassed that of other countries, indicating the rapid strides it is taking in reaching new markets worldwide.

India is in final talks to start wheat exports to Egypt, while discussions are going on with countries like Turkey, China, Bosnia, Sudan, Nigeria and Iran, an official press release said.

India’s wheat exports are mainly to neighbouring countries with Bangladesh having the largest share of more than 54% in both volume and value terms in 2020-21. The country entered new wheat markets such as Yemen, Afghanistan, Qatar and Indonesia in 2020-21.

According to Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCIS) data, 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. These countries accounted for more than 99% share in both volume and value terms.

The rise in wheat exports has been achieved through the APEDA taking up various initiatives such as organizing B2B exhibitions in different countries, exploring new potential markets and initiating marketing campaigns with the active involvement of Indian Embassies.

“We are giving thrust on building infrastructure in the value chain for giving a boost to cereal exports in collaboration with the state governments and other stakeholders such as exporters, farmer producer organizations, transporters etc,” Angamuthu said.

India accounts for even less than one per cent of world wheat export. However, its share has increased from 0.14% in 2016 to 0.54% in 2020. India is the second-largest producer of wheat with a share of around 14.14% of the world's total production in 2020.

India produces around 107.59 Million MT of wheat annually, with a major chunk of it going towards domestic consumption. Major wheat growing states in India are Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar and Gujarat.

The unit price of wheat plays an important role in international trade. While the unit export price of wheat has increased for all countries in the last five years, India’s unit export price is slightly higher than that of other countries. This is one of the factors adversely impacting wheat exports from India.

APEDA has been focusing on facilitating shipments by Indian exporters and helping them make inroads into new markets. To ensure seamless quality certification of products to be exported, APEDA has recognized 220 labs across India to provide testing services for a wide range of products and exporters.

APEDA also assists in the upgradation and strengthening of recognized laboratories for export testing and residue monitoring plans. APEDA also assists in the financial assistance schemes of infrastructure development, quality improvement and market development for boosting the export of agricultural products.


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