India Ships Record Wheat As Ukraine Crisis Upends Bulk Trade

A worker looks as a cargo ship unloads wheat at the Red Sea port of Hodeida, Yemen October 1, 2017. Picture taken October 1, 2017. To match Special Report YEMEN-SAUDI/BLOCKADE REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad

India Ships Record Wheat As Ukraine Crisis Upends Bulk Trade

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February 28, 2022

By Pratik Parija (Bloomberg) India is set to benefit from the shifts in global wheat trade as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine leaves a vital source of supply hanging in balance.

The uncertainty caused by the war means that importing nations will be looking to buy wheat from elsewhere. India’s exports could exceed a record 7 million tons in 2021-22 if the conflict drags on, according to Vijay Iyengar, chairman and managing director of Singapore-based Agrocorp International Pte. 

“Everyone in the market is working to find out how much would be the incremental demand for Indian wheat,” said Iyengar, whose company trades about 12 million tons of grains annually. He expects the demand to come mainly from Asian countries.

Asia markets are well supplied for the April-May period but from July and August onward, the coverage is very low, Iyengar said. 

Indonesia, one of the biggest buyers of Ukraine wheat, is starting to seek alternatives and eying supplies from Argentina, Brazil, India and other European countries, according to an industry group official. 

Iyengar’s view echoes a forecast from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for India to ship 7 million tons in 2021-22, more than double the prior season and will rank the nation as the world’s ninth-largest shipper.

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