India should withdraw rice export ban, says IMF chief economist citing food inflation

International Monetary Fund chief economist Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas said on Tuesday that India’s move to restrict exports of certain types of rice could be contributing to food price inflation and should be reversed.

Gourinchas told a news conference that India’s ban would have a similar effect to Ukraine’s suspension of the Black Sea grain export deal, helping to push up prices in other countries. He said global grain prices could rise by 10-15% this year.

“In the current environment, these types of sanctions are likely to increase volatility in food prices in the rest of the world, and they may even retaliate,” Gourinchas said. “We would encourage the removal of these types of export restrictions because they can be globally damaging.”

(Reporting by David Lauder)