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Indian Trade Curbs Expected to Slash Exports by $4 Billion, Red Sea Instability Raises Concerns

Indian export curbs

Amidst trade constraints imposed on key commodities like wheat, rice, and sugar, India anticipates a significant dent of approximately $4 billion to $5 billion in its export revenues for the current fiscal year. An informed source disclosed this development on Thursday, attributing the plunge to India's regulatory measures aimed at stabilizing escalating domestic prices.


As the world's second-largest producer of wheat, rice, and sugar, India's recent restrictions on exports have sparked concern about the economic impact both domestically and internationally. Notably, the threats of attacks in the Red Sea region pose an additional risk to basmati rice shipments, potentially exacerbating the export shortfall.


Addressing these challenges, Indian authorities are contemplating an alternative shipping route through Africa for basmati rice deliveries if continuous assaults by Yemen's Houthi group persist. However, this re-routing strategy could potentially elevate prices by a considerable margin, estimated to range between 15% to 20%.


The ramifications of this alternate path might extend beyond basmati rice, affecting India's exports of long-grain rice to key markets such as Egypt and Europe. The source, speaking on condition of anonymity due to non-authorization, highlighted the potential ripple effects on these established trade channels.


Despite the constraints imposed on the export of specific agricultural commodities like wheat and rice, Rajesh Agarwal, an additional secretary in the trade ministry, remains optimistic about mitigating the export deficit. Agarwal noted, "If we exclude agricultural commodities subjected to export controls, such as wheat and rice, exports showcase a growth rate exceeding 4%."


Furthermore, data compiled by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) illustrates a contrasting trend. It indicates a surge in exports of meat, dairy products, cereal preparations, as well as fruits and vegetables during the April to November period of the ongoing fiscal year.


While the curbs on certain agricultural exports might lead to a substantial shortfall, the upsurge in other farm commodities presents a promising trajectory, hinting at a potential balance that could help India sustain its overall export figures despite the prevailing challenges.


This ongoing situation underscores the delicate balance India must navigate between domestic price control measures and international trade dynamics to maintain its foothold in the global market.

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