India engages in talks with Russia for discounted wheat imports: Report

In a bid to tackle surging wheat prices, the Indian government is mulling over the prospect of importing wheat from Russia at a reduced cost. This move aims to augment the domestic wheat supply.

India is heading into assembly elections across several states this year, followed by general elections next year, prompting the government’s desire to stabilize grain prices prior to these crucial political events. The cost of wheat soared to its peak in 15 months this July.

Insiders familiar with the matter, as per a Reuters report, have indicated that the central government is actively exploring the avenue of wheat imports from Russia, utilizing private trade channels and bilateral agreements. The ultimate decision will be taken after careful deliberation.

Historically, India has not resorted to diplomatic wheat import deals for several years. An exception was in 2017 when a substantial 530,000 metric tons of wheat were imported.

Recent reports revealed that last month, a senior official from the Federal Food Ministry, Sanjeev Chopra, asserted that no definitive plans existed for importing wheat from Russia.

India’s wheat requirement hovers around 3 to 4 million metric tons. However, there is potential to import between 8 to 9 million metric tons from Russia.

A major detail from the report states that Russia has conveyed its willingness to provide India with discounted wheat. Importantly, there are no restrictions on exporting food items from Russia

This prospective deal not only holds the promise of stable prices but could also present a strategic bilateral trade opportunity between India and Russia, potentially alleviating the challenges posed by recent price fluctuations.

This article has been republished from Editorji

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