New Delhi: Battling 11.42% inflation, the government has banned export of maize till 15 October to increase availability in the domestic market and check prices of corn, poultry and other products.
The ban announced through a Commerce Ministry notification, will remain in force till 15 October by when the new crop will be harvested.
Maize prices have gone up by 40% to Rs970 per quintal in July from Rs700 per quintal in January despite bumper crop in 2007-08.
Government has already banned exports of wheat, non-basmati rice, edible oil and pulses. “Is there any more item left from the bans,” Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath had asked recently.
“Rising global demand because of diversion of maize for bio-fuels, particularly in the US, has had an impact on the domestic prices as well,” traders said.
Corn is used as poultry and livestock feed, besides by the starch industry, which together require about 12 million tonnes per annum.
“With India being the sixth largest supplier of corn in the world, the decision to ban exports would weigh on the international market,” they said. The country exported 2.5 million tons in 2007-08 as compared to a small quantity of just over half a million tons last year.
“The increase in exports left an impact on the availability and prices in the domestic market,” Ram Nivas Mangla, Delhi-based manufacturer of poultry feed said.
Export demand was mainly coming from buyers in Pakistan, Australia and Middle-East because of the differential between Indian and the US prices. Maize is available in India at almost half the prices in the US.