India bans the export of onions and sugarcane, food inflation threatens the world

India bans the export of shallots until March 31, 2024. PHOTO/doc.SINDOnews

JAKARTAIndia bans export of onions till March 31, 2024 as domestic prices surge after rains damaged food crops in Maharashtra. It is feared that this policy will increase global food inflation next year.

These steps came amid an expected decline in food production due to an uncertain summer and drought in several states.

The Indian Food Policy Center announced a series of new measures aimed at preventing domestic food inflation, banning onion exports and stopping the use of sugarcane juice to make ethanol, while introducing tighter controls on grain shipments by traders.

The move comes amid an expected decline in production of food products, including sugar and lentils, due to an uncertain summer and drought in several states.

With India's Food Minister Sanjeev Chopra predicting a sharp decline in sugarcane production, the government has banned the use of sugarcane juice to make ethanol blended with fuel oil (BBM).

India's Oil Minister Pankaj Jain expects the decision will have no impact on the 20% ethanol requirement in gasoline in 2025-2026.

“This pause is temporary and policies will be recalibrated as the situation evolves. “We have complete plans to ensure that various competitive requirements are met, including the ethanol blending program and the global biofuel alliance,” he said on Sunday as quoted by Hindustan Times (December 10, 2023).