March 17, 2010


India wheat futures up on export hopes


India wheat futures ended higher on Tuesday (Mar 16) on hopes that the country may allow exports of the commodity soon.


The futures may trade higher for another session, analysts said.


The most-active March wheat NWTH0 on the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX) ended at INR1,266.6 (US$28) per 100 kg, up 0.52%.


"The e-auction price is around INR1,250 (US$27) per 100 kg in Delhi, which is almost the same as market prices and this will not attract many buyers," said an official with the Food Corp of India.


Analysts said the auction could have pressurised physical market prices a month ago when prices were closer to INR1,350 (US$30) per 100 kg.


Food Corp of India (FCI) has began electronic auctions of wheat from March 16, using National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL) platform under the open market sales scheme, the company said in a statement on Monday.


The traders are hopeful government will decide on significant exports to get rid of excess stocks, ahead of new crop arrival that begins early April.


India may consider allowing wheat exports after a meeting of the policymakers, Farm Minister Sharad Pawar said in the first week of March. India banned exports in 2007, but has allowed some exports through diplomatic route since then.


India's wheat stocks as at March 1 were at 18.4 million tonnes against a target of 8.2 million tonnes, according to government sources.

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