India likely to export 7.5 MT wheat, says UN body

India’s wheat exports are likely to touch a record high of 7.5 million tonnes in the current marketing year ending June 2013, on account of record crop and larger carry-over stocks, while many other exporting nations are expected to face tight supplies, an Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) report said.     

In 2011-12 marketing year (July-June), shipments from the country remained lower, as wheat export was allowed via private trade only after lifting the ban on the same in September 2011, according to market experts.     

“One striking feature of this season is the exceptional size of wheat exports by India, which are forecast to reach 7.5 million tonnes,” the FAO said in its latest report. Wheat shipments from India, the world's second biggest grower, are anticipated to surge on account of estimated record harvest and larger carry over stocks, it said.     

To reduce stocks built up due to record harvest, India is encouraging export of government-held stocks. It has already allowed state-run firms to export 4.5 million tonnes of wheat. Recently, it permitted private traders to ship additional five million tonnes of the grain.      

According to the FAO report, wheat plantings in India are around last year’s good level and another bumper crop is in prospect although forecast slightly below the 2012 record (93.90 million tonnes) because of limited rainfall in some important producing areas.     

At global level, total wheat trade is expected to decline five per cent to 140 million tonnes in 2012-13, as against 147 million tonnes in the previous year, it said.     

Russian Federation, EU, Australia are forecast to face tight supplies which will lead to reduced exports from these countries, but larger exports by India will help ease the market situation, the report added.

The expected sharp retreat in global wheat imports in 2012-13 reflects reduced purchases by several countries, namely, Afghanistan,  Algeria, Egypt, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Turkey and Uzbekistan, it added.

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