25 May 1999
India expected to export wheat

A BUMPER wheat crop in India has put pressure on prices and a new urgency in looking for export business, reports the Financial Times.

The federal government has sanctioned the export of 1 million tonnes of wheat from the crop of more than 73m tonnes.

Official agencies have already bought 14m tonnes in a bid to stem the price slide.

Last year India produced 65.9m tonnes of wheat and procurement was 12.65m tonnes.

Indian wheat costs about US$190 (£118) a tonne, including transport and handling charges.

But Australian and Canadian wheat is almost $50 a tonne cheaper.

Because of this imbalance it is expected that India will have to pay subsidies.

The US department of agriculture has forecast a 16m tonne increase in wheat production to 572m tonnes in 1999-2000.

The US, the European Union, China and Pakistan are expected to harvest smaller crops.

Low prices last year led to a reduction in the area under wheat in most producing countries.

  • Financial Times 25/05/99 page 32