India turns major wheat supplier in South, West Asia as global prices soar

India has turned a key wheat supplier for countries in South Asia and the Indian Ocean Location, generally West Asia, as rates in the world wide market place have surged near 8-yr large, in accordance to officers and field industry experts .

Increasing freight costs have also resulted in these countries turning to India to meet their wheat need.

In accordance to Agricultural and Processed Food Goods Export Progress Authority (APEDA), India exported 19.86 lakh tonnes (lt) of wheat for the duration of April-August fiscal when compared with two.sixty three lt for the duration of the yr-ago period of time.

USDA projection

The United States Office of Agriculture, in its “Grain: World Current market and Trade” report, projected India’s wheat exports at 45 lakh tonnes (lt), the highest considering that it shipped fifty five.seventy two lt in 2013-fourteen. The foodgrain’s shipments is believed to have topped very last year’s whole shipments of 20.86 lt by now.

“Basically, Indian wheat is in need as Russia and Australia are quoting increased rates for their produce. Increasing freight charges have also contributed to the need for Indian wheat,” mentioned Rajnikant Rai, Divisional Chief Govt, ITC Agri-Company.

India wheat has not just acquired in volume but in selling price way too. “In April, we began exporting wheat at $265 a tonne. Presently, we are exporting at $315-eighteen a tonne,” Rai mentioned.

As opposed with this, Argentina is quoting at $296, France at $327, US comfortable purple winter season wheat at $322, Australia feed wheat at $433 and Black Sea wheat (Russia, Ukraine) at $312.seventy five a tonne.

The increased rates in the world wide market place are mirrored in domestic rates way too, which are ruling close to this year’s minimum aid selling price (MSP) degree of ₹1,975.

Millers aggrieved

“Exports and recent rates have manufactured items difficult for the domestic milling field. We are owning to fork out ₹25 a kg for wheat from ₹20-21 a couple of months ago,” mentioned Pramod Kumar, Vice-President, Roller Flour Mills Federation of India.

Nevertheless officers included in exports say that millers can avail of wheat from the Food Corporation of India (FCI), which is providing the stocks it is keeping at rates relying on which yr the crop was harvested, Kumar mentioned tender norms experienced manufactured it difficult for any miller to bid.

Having said that, exporters say they are procuring wheat from the open market place for shipments overseas. “We are not intended to export wheat stocks obtained from FCI,” mentioned Rai.

Centre’s system

A Delhi-dependent multinational firm’s export-import official mentioned the Centre’s system could be to keep growers delighted in States this sort of as Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Uttarakhand, where by Assembly elections are thanks in six months time.

A trade analyst mentioned the Govt could be encouraging exports of wheat on two counts. 1, it will aid lower the enormous inventories that are remaining carried every yr. Two, it could also be to lessen FCI’s debt burden, which is approximately ₹five lakh crore.

“Also, with trader partners putting pressure on India at the World Trade Organisation to finish MSP, the Centre could be trying to ship more when the situation is favourable,” he mentioned.

FCI stocks

As on Oct 1, the FCI experienced 46.eighty five million tonnes of wheat stocks when compared with forty three.73 million tonnes for the duration of the yr-ago period of time. The Corporation is mandated to have seventeen.five million tonnes of operational inventory and two million tonnes of strategic reserve for the duration of the period of time.

Mukesh Singh, Director, MuBala Agro Commodities Pvt Ltd, mentioned Bangladesh is placing orders on a everyday basis for Indian wheat. “For Bangladesh, it is less expensive to acquire Indian wheat in distinct considering that freight expenses are very low,” he mentioned.

As for every APEDA details, Bangladesh imported thirteen.thirteen lt of wheat for the duration of April-August when compared with 11.fifty seven lt for the complete 2020-21 fiscal. The USDA has pegged Bangladesh’s wheat imports at 74 lakh tonnes this yr.

Shipments by highway

Most of the wheat consignments go by highway to the neighbouring region and trucks carrying wheat account for virtually a 3rd of the whole autos crossing the Ghojadanga border. For instance, on Oct 19, ninety two trucks carried wheat to the neighbouring region out of the 312 that passed by the border.

“We are ready to get fair typical quality wheat at ₹19.fifty-21 a kg from Bihar, Bengal and Odisha. Wheat is accessible in Uttar Pradesh also, but freight is high priced,” Singh, who organization exports wheat and corn, mentioned.

ITC’s Rai mentioned Bangladesh and West Asian countries ended up the two key consumers of Indian wheat this yr. “Plus, Indian wheat has started likely to Indonesia and the Philippines,” he mentioned.

1 key reason for Indian wheat to make inroads in the world wide market place is that other than remaining aggressive, its quality has also enhanced, Rai mentioned.

Potential customers fantastic until March

The ITC official expects the recent speed in wheat exports to continue until the finish of the recent fiscal. “No other crops can strike the market place until then. The importers are countries that acquire consistently and India has now emerged as an selection,” Rai mentioned.

The USDA has projected world wide wheat intake to maximize sharply than production this yr. As a consequence, world wide wheat exports would be at history levels resulting in stocks dropping to a 5-yr very low.

World-wide output will be only marginally increased as production in the US, Canada, Kazakhstan and Iran have been affected. The decrease in Canadian production will consequence in the North American country transport fifteen million tonnes of wheat lower this yr. India is found attaining a chunk of the hole, with Australia and Europe remaining projected as the other gainers.

India has also been aided by history wheat production in excess of the previous two decades. Throughout 2019-20, India developed 107.86 million tonnes and in 2020-21, the output amplified to 109.fifty two million tonnes.

Leading 5 Indian wheat consumers


April-August 2021 imports

(in lakh tonnes)



Sri Lanka

1.sixty eight


1.fifty five





Resource: APEDA

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