Agri market body pitches for removal of India’s rice trade curbs

By Sandip Das, Mukesh Jagota

The Rome-based Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) in a note just prior to the G20 leaders summit here said India’s export restriction on rice, combined with El Nino-related concerns over rice production in the region, have roiled global markets for the grain, with Thailand prices rising 20% since last month.

India, as one of the largest producers of food grains, had banned wheat exports last year and put ban or export taxes on the several varieties of rice, in order to increase domestic supplies.

The G20 leaders also agreed against imposition of any export ban or restriction which creates market distortions as per the WTO rules. The New Delhi Leaders’ declaration on Saturday decided to support AMIS, to include fertilizers, vegetables oils while the network currently focuses on wheat, maize, rice, and soybeans.

On the global wheat supplies, AMIS, an inter-agency platform launched in 2011 following the spike in global food prices, has stated that prices are still under pressure from abundant black sea exports at competitive prices, but markets remain volatile as the termination of the initiative and Russian attacks on Ukraine export facilities have heightened uncertainty.

The New Delhi leaders’ declaration appealed for ‘unimpeded deliveries of grains, food and fertilisers from Russia and Ukraine’ to meet the demand in developing and least developed countries especially Africa,’.

“We believe that any initiative that isolates Russia is bound to fail and any step that may escalate the tensions in the Black sea should be avoided,” Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday said at a briefing after the conclusion of the G20 summit here.

Russia quit the Black sea grain deal in July, a year after it was brokered by the United Nations and Turkey, by stating that its own food and fertiliser exports faced obstacles and insufficient Ukrainian grain was going to countries in need

Meanwhile, the AMIS has also said that global soybean and maize production prospects are improved this year with some stock rebuilding anticipated despite dryness in North America, Argentina and parts of Europe.

AMIS, aims ath enhancing food market transparency and policy response for food security, was launched following the global spike in food prices during 2008 – 2010.

The network based in Rome provides a platform to coordinate policy action in times of market uncertainty. G20 summit declaration here also noted about strengthening the Group on Earth Observations Global Agricultural Monitoring for enhancing collaboration with early warning systems.

This article has been republished from The Financial Express

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