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India is struggling to replenish its wheat stocks

created Apr 25th, 00:15 by ZiauddinAhmed



242 words
23 completed
India is struggling to replenish its wheat stocks, with purchases down around 25% on last year's levels due to untimely rains and higher open market prices, which encourage farmers to sell to private traders. India's wheat inventories have dropped to their lowest in 16 years after two straight years of reduced crop yields prompted New Delhi to sell record volumes from its stocks to boost domestic supplies and bring down local prices. If the world's second biggest wheat producer is unable to rebuild stocks as hoped, its ability to intervene in the market to calm prices may be curbed, and New Delhi may have to import wheat for the first time since 2017. State-run agencies have bought 11.92 million metric tonnes of wheat from farmers so far this season, down 25% on the 15.92 million tonnes bought in the same period a year ago, according to data from the Food Corporation of India (FCI). Untimely rainfall in northern states, particularly in Punjab, has delayed purchases, said a government official, who declined to be named. "Harvested crops have higher moisture content. It is forcing farmers to wait for them to dry before selling to the government," he said. State-run agencies have procured 3.5 million tons of wheat from Punjab, down 49% from a year ago, the data showed.Wheat prices in the open market are above 2,400 rupees ($28.81) per 100 kg, compared with the government's fixed minimum buying price of 2,275 rupees.

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