India boosts Russian grain imports as Modi thanks Putin for fertilizer supply

MOSCOW (Reuters) – India increased its imports of Russian grain and grain products 22 fold, well above other major importers, in the 2023/24 agricultural season, according to data released during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Moscow.

Economic cooperation between the two BRICS members and major agricultural powers is high on the agenda of the visit.

Modi thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for supporting Indian farmers with stable supplies of fertilizers. At the start of the year, Russia was supplying a third of India’s fertilizer imports.

“Thanks to our friendship, we managed to resolve difficulties for Indian farmers. We met all their needs for fertilizers. This is a special role of our friendship,” Modi told Putin during a meeting in the Kremlin.

Russia and India have set a bilateral trade target of $100 billion across a “broad base” by 2030, up from the current $65 billion, Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra said on Tuesday.

Data released by the Russian agricultural watchdog showed that Russia exported up to 89.3 million tons of grain and grain products in the 2023/24 agricultural season, 21% more than in the previous season.

India, with its 22-fold increase, was well ahead of Indonesia with an eight-fold increase and Tunisia with a three-fold increase. According to the Russian agriculture ministry’s data, Russia was the fourth-largest agricultural products exporter to India in the first quarter of 2024.

The agricultural watchdog did not provide specific details of exports to India, but noted that, in the latest agricultural season, overall exports of barley rose by 67% and corn by 31%.

Russia does not currently export wheat to India, which has imposed a prohibitive 40% tax on wheat imports. However, wheat prices in India, the world’s second-biggest producer of the grain, have been rising in recent weeks due to concerns over supplies.

In light of these concerns, there is speculation that the Indian government may abolish or reduce the current import tax to keep prices low, potentially opening the way for wheat from Russia, the world’s leading wheat exporter, to enter the local market for the first time in six years.

(Reporting by Olga Popova and Gleb Bryanski; Editing by David Holmes)

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top