Despite missing purchase goal, Centre's wheat stocks better than last year

But with the Covid-era free food grain schemes rolled back, the stock position may be more comfortable, even as exports have been banned

Sanjeeb Mukhejee New Delhi

Wheat production in the 2021-22 crop season ending in June was initially pegged at 106.41 MT, according to the third advance estimate

India’s wheat procurement in the 2023-24 marketing season, which started in April, will in all likelihood be lower than the estimated 34.1 million tonnes (MT) and could end below 28 MT owing to heightened private purchases in some major growing areas of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana to some extent, together with a drop in production due to relentless rains in March and early April this year.
But though procurement may be less than this year’s estimate, it will still be significantly higher than the multi-year low of almost 19 MT of wheat procured last year. In other words, the Centre will have a far better cushion in terms of wheat stocks this year than it did last year. Plus, with rice procurement being higher than estimated, overall food grain stocks will be far more comfortable in FY24 than in FY23.
July 1 usually sees peak stock levels of wheat, coming as it does right after the main procurement months of April, May

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First Published: May 16 2023 | 12:08 PM IST

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