October 24, 2011
India's grain inventories reach 51.7 million tonnes
As of October 1, India's grain stocks at government warehouses were 51.7 million tonnes, higher than state-set targets, official sources said Friday (Oct 21).
Wheat stocks were at 31.4 million tonnes against a target of 11 million tonnes, while rice inventory for the same period was 20.3 million tonnes against a target of 5.2 million tonnes.
Saddled by unmanageable inventory, the government has allowed two million tonnes of each rice and wheat exports by private traders and hopes are that overflowing grain bins will encourage further overseas sales.
Last month, stocks of wheat were at 33.6 million tonnes, while that of rice were 22.7 million tonnes.
India harvests only one wheat crop a year while the new season rice harvest has started this month. The government buys grains from farmers to run a number of welfare programmes that try to ensure cheaper food for the poor and meet any emergencies.
Since 2009 the government has also been keeping an additional three million tonnes of wheat and two million tonnes of rice as strategic reserves over and above the monthly stocks.