India bans maize export
India has banned the export of maize till October 15 to help boost its availability in domestic market in order to check prices of corn, poultry and other products as the country battles a 13-year high inflation.
A notification by the Indian Commerce Ministry says the ban will remain in force till mid-October by when new crop is expected to be harvested.
Bangladesh is one of the major importers of maize from India, which is the sixth largest supplier of corn in the world.
Maize prices have gone up by 40 per cent to Rs 970 per quintal in July this year from Rs 700 per quintal in January despite a bumper crop.
The ban on maize export is the latest tool used by the government after it clamped down on the export of non-basmati rice, wheat, edible oil and pulses as the inflation reached 11.63 per cent.
Traders said rising global demand following diversion of maize for bio-fuels, particularly in the United States, has pushed up the domestic market prices of the commodity.
Corn is used as poultry and livestock feed besides by the starch industry which together require an estimated 12 million tonnes every year.
India exported 2.5 million tonnes of corn in 2007-8 as compared to a small quantity of just over half a million tonne last year.
The price of maize in India is nearly half of that in the United States and poultry farmers and starch manufacturers have been demanding check on exports to tame domestic prices.
Prospects of corn output in the coming season are stated to be good and expectations of kharif crop (June to September) is that it will go up to 18 million tonnes.
India's decision to ban maize export is likely to have an impact on the international market, traders said.