April 2, 2015
Biggest Australian wheat imports into India in five years
80,000 tonnes of wheat from Australia has been purchased by India, making the volume the largest of such imports by the country in five years, according to trade sources.
As India is coping with rains which have damaged domestic wheat cultivations, local flour millers have acquired between 70,000 and 80,000 tonnes of Australian prime wheat for April-May shipment at $260-$265/tonne.
The buying occurred even though India has large stocks of wheat, a Singapore-based trading manager said. However, the purchases may be towards meeting demand for better grades of the crop.
A drop in international freight rates also fuelled buying.
As of March 1, the Food Corporation of India held 19.52 million tonnes of wheat stocks, with some reportedly more than two-year old and could be in average or lower qualities.
This year has seen an adverse impact on wheat quality and output in India due to heavy rain which had happened at an unexpected timing and in the country's northern and central grain-growing regions. According to traders, the states of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, which produce top high-protein wheat, were the most severely affected areas.
In addition, government officials expect that 10 million hectares of winter crops will be damaged.
Based on a USDA data, India had brought in 200,000 tonnes of wheat in 2010.