After months of deliberations, the Centre has finally brought an amendment in its foreign trade policy to facilitate international trade in rupee. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry on 16th of September 2022, notified the changes to the policy. The central bank allowed authorised banks in India to open special rupee Vostro accounts of correspondent banks of any partner trading country to facilitate trade in the Indian currency.
Kenya, a country situated in the Eastern African region is the largest economy in eastern and central Africa with its capital, Nairobi serving as a major regional commercial hub. The agricultural sector is the second biggest contributor to the nation’s economy and employs 75% of the local population. Tea and coffee are the traditional cash crops and contribute significantly to the economy. A boost can be seen in Kenya’s economy due to a growth in the service sector, tourism and telecommunications.
The Thumb rule for success is to set targets high. Setting reasonable or gettable targets leads to lethargy and lethargical efforts can be detrimental for any endeavor. APEDA (Agricultural and processed food products export development authority) has rightly set an ambitious target of $23.56 billion food export for FY 2022-23. APEDA is ready put in the extra effort to achieve the target and 300 events will be organized by it this fiscal. Following are some steps planned to meet the target of $23.56 billion.
The world is now witnessing one landmark after the other related to Ukrainian grain freeing endeavor of United Nations. First a deal to export Ukrainian grain via Odesa and other Ukrainian black sea ports between Russia, Ukraine and Turkey in the tutelage of UN was signed and then came another landmark moment when first cargo ship Razoni departed from Odesa under the deal. Now finally modalities have been agreed upon to make resumption of grain and fertilizer shipments from Ukrainian black sea ports including Odesa attractive enough for shipping and insurance companies. Under the new agreement 10 nautical mile buffer zone has been earmarked to protect Ukrainian grain ships.
DGFT has issued yet another notification related to wheat and wheat derivatives exports. This notification issued on 8th August 2022 is third notification in four months. First notification that came into effect on 13th May 2022 shifted Wheat Export from free category to prohibited category banning wheat exports from Indian shores with some exceptions. This was done giving the reason that food security of Indians was under threat. Real reason was soaring wheat and wheat flour prices in domestic market. But this step of GOI didn’t provide desired results it seems so DGFT came up with another notification issued on 6th July 2022. 6th July notification was more a reaction to unusually high wheat flour exports in the aftermath of wheat export ban. Some wheat exporters developed a very novel idea of bypassing the wheat export ban by converting wheat stocks into wheat flour stocks and exporting, alarming the government. Third notification which is basically subject of this discussion has been issued to diversify the second notification.
UCAB (Ukrainian club of agrarian business associations) stated on Monday (1st August 2022) that Ukraine reached a milestone of sorts by exporting 3 MT of agro commodities in July 2022 via its sea ports despite Russia blocking most of its seaports post invasion (Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022). Grain exports alone rose 21% compared to June, contributing prominently to 12% growth in agro commodities exports.
Government of India had imposed restrictions on sugar exports effective from June 1 to control prices and maintain adequacy of sugar in domestic market. Now GOI has approved export of 1.2 MT extra sugar this season as high production next season is expected. This season 10 MT sugar has already been exported and this new quota is additional. Thus total sugar outflows will be 11 MT this season making it highest ever. This new quota is a recent approval of group of ministers.
Likely drop in farm production owing to scarcity of affordable fertilizer will worsen food crisis in 2023, opined executive director of world food program. Senate foreign relations committee was briefed by David Beasley, WFP head since 2017 and a former South Carolina governor that 50 million people of 45 nations are facing the ignominy of famine this year putting their stability under threat. Beasley stated that 2023 may present a food availability problem not seen by him and his audience in their lifetime. He referred to African development bank estimate that 20% drop in African food production due to shortage of fertilizer is expected, to support his statement. It is a known fact that production from 33 million smallholder farms is on what most of Africa relies. Food shortages will be compounded by expected drought in Africa, US and other parts of the world.
Zelenskyy’s declaration of exporting grains through Odesa port maybe plainly reckless. There is difference between braveness and recklessness. Fresh missile attack of Russia on Odesa port has cast aspersions on the idea of grain export through Odesa port. Ukraine has promised to ease global food shortage by exporting grain through its black sea ports including Odesa but will Russia allow Ukraine to do that is the most pertinent question. Why is Russia attacking Odesa port with missiles if it doesn’t want to stall grain exports through Odesa is another pertinent question. Trusting Russia has become difficult for world community after it attacked Ukraine.
The sunflower oil industry is centred in Eastern Europe, with Russia and Ukraine being the largest producers of this ingredient. If you’re not familiar with sunflower oil, it’s a popular carrier oil used by many natural cosmetic manufacturers and used as cooking oil too. Because this area has been so entrenched in conflict recently, there’s been a shortage of sunflower oil and that’s why the sunflower oil prices have increased dramatically.