India's wheat export is likely to touch 6 million tonnes in the 2012-13 marketing year (MY) - 3 million tonnes each of government and open-market wheat, on the back of firm global prices, as per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) report. With the current tight open market supplies of wheat, private wheat exports are expected to decline drastically in the near future.
With expected firm international wheat prices, export prospects are also looking favourable through the first quarter of calendar year 2013, the government most likely will further augment the government-held wheat export quota, it added.
The government wheat is currently fetching good export rates compared to the PDS wheat price of Rs 2,000-6,100 ($36-110) per tonne, MSP for MY 2012-13 of Rs 12,850 ($234) per tonne and open market sale price for bulk consumers in most states. The government's decision to export 2 million tonnes of wheat from central stocks fetched a rate in the range of $296.70-319.50 per tonne.
Earlier this year, the government had allowed export of 2 million tonnes of the grain from central pool stocks of Food Corporation of India (FCI) through central public sector undertakings (CPSUs) like STC, MMTC and PEC. The Commerce Secretary S R Rao had said that the Food Ministry will move a proposal for allowing export of an additional 2.5 million tonnes of wheat from the central stocks in order to ease the storage crunch being faced by the country due to an all time high production. India produced a record high of 93.90 million tonnes of wheat crop in the 2011-12 crop year (July-June).
The government has a wheat stock of 37.65 million tonnes as of Dec 1, 2012, which is more than double the stipulated buffer and strategic stock requirement of 11.2 million tonnes as of January 1, 2013. United Nation's body, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has estimated India's wheat exports to touch 5 million tonnes in the 2012-13 MY.