Flour millers import wheat as FCI continues open market sale

Flour millers in India are reported to have contracted to buy up to 80,000 tonnes of wheat from Australia for April-May shipment amidst expectations of a rise in prices after unseasonal rains damaged local crop.

Reports quoting trade sources said the millers have bought three cargoes of wheat even as the Indian government today said it has decided to continue sale of wheat in the domestic market under the existing scheme of open market sale, subject to some modifications.

While traders did not expect large-scale buying by India as the country has substantially large stocks, they say there could be some demand for higher grade wheat.
The deals for Australian prime wheat were signed between $260 and $265 a tonne, including cost and freight, they said.
The Indian government, meanwhile, said the sale of wheat under the scheme will be continued after 31 March 2015 only in non-wheat procuring states, ie, states excluding Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, NCT Delhi and UT of Chandigarh.

The reserve price for sale of wheat in the above said states after 31 March will be Rs1,550 per quintal plus freight charges and road transportation charges, if any, ex-Ludhiana to the concerned depot of FCI, from which the sale is to be effected.

Sale of wheat through dedicated movement in 2015-16 will be started only when a decision is taken to start the sale of wheat from surplus procuring states, namely, Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh, the Department of Food and Public Distribution said in an official release.