After rising recently, the rice prices (both wholesale and retail) reported a decrease and prices of wheat atta remained stable during last week. Wheat prices have also come down, according to the food ministry. The government has already said retail prices of rice in the domestic market will remain under control, helped by a ban on exports of broken rice and sufficient stocks in its godowns.
“The retail and wholesale prices of wheat and rice reported a decrease and prices of wheat atta remained stable during last week. During the past two years, prices of wheat and rice have gone up more or less corresponding to the MSP increase during the relevant years. During 2021-22, the prices were comparatively on the lower side because about 80 LMT (lakh metric tonnes) of foodgrains were offloaded in the open market through OMSS (Open Market Sale Scheme) to contain the prices," the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution said in a statement.
It added that the government is regularly monitoring the price scenario of essential commodities, including wheat and rice, and taking corrective measures, wherein required.
“Because of the unprecedented geopolitical situation, procurement remained a bit on a lower side therefore, the Government of India had not intervened in the market through OMSS so far. However, the Government of India is well aware of the price scenario and monitoring it regularly on weekly basis," the ministry said.
The government has taken proactive steps to avoid any further price rise, and export regulations were imposed in case of wheat with effect from May 13, 2022, and with effect from May 8, 2022, in case of rice. Thereafter, there was an immediate containment in the prices of wheat and in case of rice.
Last month, the prices of rice in India rose about 5 per cent as neighbouring Bangladesh cut import duty on rice from 25 per cent to 15.25 per cent. Rice are exported to Bangladesh from Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal and Bihar. The neighbouring country imports sambha mansoori, sonam and kolam varieties of rice.
India, the world’s second-largest rice producer after China, commands 40 per cent of the market share.
Earlier this year, wheat prices also saw a jump due to higher international demand. Russia and Ukraine are the major exporters of wheat accounting for about a fourth of the global wheat trade. The conflict between them led to the global wheat supply chain disruptions increasing the demand for Indian wheat. As a result, the price of wheat in the domestic market showed an increase. In order to ensure the food security of 1.4 billion people of the country, the decision was taken to put a prohibition on the export of wheat in May 2022.
The increased demand for wheat flour in the international market led to a significant price rise of wheat flour in the domestic market. Following this, to control domestic prices, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, recently approved the proposal to amend the policy of exemption for wheat or meslin flour. The move will now allow putting restrictions on the export of wheat flour, which will ensure a curb on rising prices of wheat flour in the country.