India plans even more food export restrictions – wheat, sugar and now rice? Food crisis continues to worsen

Global food markets are currently experiencing major disruptions. Droughts, floods, pest infestations, the Ukraine war, and sanctions against Russia are causing more and more export restrictions. After wheat and sugar, rice is now likely to be affected.

New Delhi, India plans even more food export restrictions – wheat, sugar and now rice? Food crisis continues to worsen

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Recently, New Delhi announced that it would significantly restrict wheat export. The reason for this is a persistent drought, which is leading to crop failures and is already causing grain prices to rise domestically.

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In this way, the Indian government wants to prevent further price increases. The same game is being played with regard to sugar, where India has also imposed restrictions on exports to stabilize domestic prices. But that is far from all.

Meanwhile, Indian authorities are already considering imposing restrictions on rice exports as well. “Restricting rice exports is a possibility,” said Poornima Varma, assistant professor at the Centre for Management in Agriculture at the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, according to “Bloomberg.”

“The government may feel that wheat needs to be replaced by rice to curb domestic inflation and ensure food security,” she said.

For the Indian population, rice is about as important as wheat in the daily diet. Sharp price increases or supply shortages would translate into riots. In fact, rice is the only staple food currently helping to prevent a worsening of the global food crisis.

Unlike wheat and corn, whose prices have skyrocketed as the war in Ukraine has disrupted supplies from a key granary, rice prices have remained stable due to abundant production and available stocks.

This outlook may change if India decides to curb rice exports. This could prompt other countries to follow a similar plan, as was the case during the 2008 food crisis when Vietnam also curtailed rice supplies.

Asia produces and consumes about 90 percent of rice, with India accounting for 40 percent of global trade. Restricting exports could drive up prices and hit poorer economies like the Philippines and Indonesia particularly hard.

Rice is one of the most important staple foods there, and the poorer population, in particular, relies on low prices to feed their families.