India's decision to ban wheat exports has sent shockwaves around the world, driving up already high wheat prices. Now, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack of the United States has expressed "grave worry" about India's wheat export prohibition. "What we need is market transparency, and we need a market that helps get things to those who are in need," Vilsack said on a conference call with journalists, according to Reuters.
Meanwhile, wheat importers in Asia were trying to locate new sources of supply after India restricted exports of the crop over the weekend in an effort to keep domestic prices under control, according to trade sources. After shipments from the Black Sea region plummeted following Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24, importers, particularly those in Asia, were betting on wheat from India, the world's second-largest producer.
Russia and Ukraine account for around a third of worldwide wheat exports. Ukraine's exports have been badly impeded by the war, which has caused the country to close its ports, while Russia's exports have been damaged by Western sanctions. "Importers from Asia are expected to face serious difficulties. India was an option to Ukraine and Russia, particularly for feed wheat. (They are) already looking for alternatives today "said a wheat dealer at a major trading business based in Europe.