May 12, 2010


India wheat futures up on falling output


India wheat futures ended higher on Tuesday (May 11) on expectations of a 1.5 million tonne output drop in top-producing state, analysts said.


Wheat output in Uttar Pradesh, India's biggest producing state, is likely to drop by up to 1.5 million tonnes from initial estimates of 29.1 million tonnes, a senior state farm department official said.


"The fall in output will support prices but we have enough stocks to control any sharp rise in prices," said Veeresh Hiremath, a senior analyst with Karvy Comtrade Ltd.


However, government measures to ensure domestic supply on the back of a robust stock situation limited gains.


The Indian government will provide 3 million tonnes of subsidised grain in aid for states in the next six months, according to farm minister Sharad Pawar. India's wheat stocks on May 1 were at 30.8 million tonnes against the target of 40 million tonnes.


India, the world's second-biggest wheat producer, expects a strong harvest in 2010, with output likely to exceed demand for the fourth consecutive year.


The minister said government-run agencies have procured 21.2 million tonnes of wheat from local farmers compared with 27.7 million tonnes during same period last year.

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