December 5, 2011


India's wheat stocks higher than target


India's wheat stocks at government warehouses as of November 1 were 29.7 million tonnes, considerably higher than the quarter's set target of 11 million tonnes, government sources said on Friday (Dec 2).


Rice inventory for the same period was 26.1 million tonnes against a target of 5.2 million tonnes set for the October-December quarter.


Saddled by overflowing inventory, the government has allowed two million tonnes each of non-basmati rice and wheat exports by private traders, easing a ban on overseas sales clamped down since early 2007.


Last month, stocks of wheat were at 31.4 million tonnes, while those of rice were 20.3 million tonnes.


India harvests only one wheat crop a year while the new season rice harvest begins in October, bumping up stocks which are then drawn on for distribution in government welfare schemes.


The government buys grains from farmers for programmes that try to ensure cheaper food for the poor and meet 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.

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