June 23, 2011

 

India's grain export chances dwindle

 

 

The prospects of India exporting wheat and rice have virtually disappeared, following a forecast that rains in the June-September monsoon season will be below normal.

 

It is unlikely that any decision on allowing grain exports will be taken before the rainfall in July and August is assessed, industry officials said Wednesday (June 22).

 

Farm Minister Sharad Pawar had favored allowing wheat and rice exports as government stocks have hit an all-time high, but now the government is unlikely to push through any decision before assessing plantings during the entire season.

 

Government granaries have run out of space, and mounds of grain are being stored in the open in key northern region producing centers.

 

"It's a pity that exports are not being opened up immediately. Large quantities of grain will probably be washed away by monsoon rains by the time any decision is taken," said one industry executive.

 

India, the world's second-largest wheat and rice grower, has maintained a ban on wheat exports since 2007 and on rice since 2008 to keep local supplies steady.

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