New Delhi: Stating there was no change in its policy of ban on wheat exports, Pakistan today said it would not be possible to sell the foodgrain to India.
“We only have a marginal surplus of wheat and we will utilise it as strategic reserves,” visiting Pakistan Commerce Secretary Syed Asif Shah told reporters here.
Shah added that the ban on wheat exports not only applied to India but also to other countries.
An upward spiral in domestic wheat prices had prompted Pakistan to ban exports of the foodgrain on May 23.
Earlier this year, Pakistan had lifted a two-and-a-half year ban on wheat exports due to high production and had allowed sale of over one million tonnes of the foodgrain overseas, including India.
Pakistan’s wheat output is estimated to be over 23 million tonnes against last year’s 21.7 million tonnes.
Initially, Pakistan exporters contracted to sell about five lakh tonnes of wheat and a large consignment was sent to India.
Pakistan’s decision to ban wheat exports came as a set- back to Indian traders as they are deprived of an opportunity to import at a cheaper price.
Besides, transportation costs, India would also have saved on time by importing wheat from the neghbouring country via Lahore and Karachi to Delhi and Mumbai through the rail and sea routes.
Currently, India is importing wheat from Argentina, Canada and Ukraine.
It recently contracted to import 5.11 lakh tonnes of the foodgrain to augment buffer stocks.
In reply to another query, Shah said Pakistan would not require to import sugar from India as it had enough stocks.