China came out openly in support of India at a recent meeting on agriculture at the WTO where rich nations attacked New Delhi yet again for its wheat export ban. “China’s representative said that targeting India was not right, more so when the purpose of New Delhi’s wheat export regulation was also to ensure that it could continue to supply to countries and neighbours with which it had struck agreements,” a Geneva-based trade official told BusinessLine.

Backs India

Beijing criticised countries such as the UK, which again suggested at the WTO Committee on Agriculture meet this week that the wheat export ban was the main cause behind global price spike. “China admonished countries which it said did nothing on their part to stop global market speculations and instead blamed countries like India,” the source said.

India had placed a ban on export of wheat from the countryto cool rising domestic prices and ensure adequate supplies in the country following concerns about wheat crop getting hit due to unseasonal heat wave 

Members such as the US, the EU, Japan, Paraguay and Brazil had earlier said that global wheat prices shot up by 6 per cent on the first day of trading on the Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures following the Indian announcement on wheat export ban on May 13.

India maintained it was not a significant wheat exporter and the ban did not affect global prices significantly.

Expressing regret over the recent WTO Ministerial Conference not delivering much on liberalising agriculture, the US, Australia and Japan backed the idea  of a retreat in September to have a fresh start to the elections.

India cautioned against throwing the mandates of the Ministerials and Bali on public stockholding and special safeguard mechanism for developing nations in the garbage bin, the source said. India said it would be backsliding if members talk about building on past work while tossing the mandates of Bali and Nairobi ministerial decisions into the garbage bin. “India said that certain nations into moral preaching, should stop looking for scapegoats for failure of progress in negotiations. It said that developing countries had learnt enough to protect their own interests and could see through preachings that came with hidden agendas detrimental to their interests,” the source added.