NEW DELHI: The Russia-Ukraine crisis might give India an opportunity to export more wheat in the global markets and domestic exporters should tap this opportunity, sources said on Thursday.
India's central pool stood at 24.2 million tonnes, twice more than the buffer and strategic needs, they said. More than a quarter of the world's wheat export comes from Russia and Ukraine.
Russia is the world's largest exporter of wheat, accounting for more than 18 per cent of international exports. In 2019, Russia and Ukraine together exported more than a quarter (25.4 per cent) of the world's wheat. Egypt, Turkey and Bangladesh bought more than half of Russia's wheat, they said.
Egypt is the world's biggest importer of wheat. It spends more than USD 4 billion annually to feed its population of over 100 million.
Russia and Ukraine cover more than 70 per cent of Egypt's imported wheat demand. Turkey is also a big spender on Russian and Ukrainian wheat with 74 per cent of its imports worth USD 1.6 billion coming from those two countries in 2019.
"The crisis in Ukraine may give India an opportunity to export more wheat, provided we ship out more, as our central pool stood at 24.2 million tonnes, twice more than the buffer and strategic needs," the sources added. India's biggest item of import from Ukraine is animal and vegetable fats and oils.
"But, the current situation will not adversely impact India's trade position as the share of this commodity out of India's total imports of this item from across the world stands at only 10 per cent," one of the sources said.
Top-five countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of wheat include Russia (USD 7.9 billion), United States (USD 6.32 billion), Canada (USD 6.3 billion), France (USD 4.5 billion) and Ukraine (3.6 billion).