India to continue rice, wheat exports despite poor rains

NEW DELHI Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:52pm IST

A worker displays rotten wheat grains at a godown on the outskirts of Amritsar in Punjab June 28, 2012. REUTERS/Munish Sharma

A worker displays rotten wheat grains at a godown on the outskirts of Amritsar in Punjab June 28, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Munish Sharma

Related Topics

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, daughter of Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi, adjusts her flower garlands as she campaigns for her mother during an election meeting at Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh April 22, 2014. REUTERS/Pawan Kumar

Election 2014

More than 814 million people — a number larger than the population of Europe — are eligible to vote in the world’s biggest democratic exercise.  Full Coverage 

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India is likely to continue exports of wheat and rice despite worries over output because of poor monsoon rains, Food Minister K.V. Thomas said on Tuesday, as the country has ample stocks from last year's harvest and wants to stabilise trade policy.

India, the world's second-biggest producer of rice and wheat, has received 8 percent lower rainfall than average since the beginning of the monsoon season on June 1 in what has turned out to be a drought year.

"We are working on a mechanism to have a stable export-import policy on select farm commodities such as rice, wheat and sugar," Thomas said, adding, the policy will benefit both farmers and the industry.

India lifted a four-year old ban on wheat and common grade rice exports by private traders in September 2011 after the government granaries swelled. The government has also permitted 2 million tonnes of wheat exports from its own warehouses.

Wheat stocks at government warehouses on August 1 were 47.5 million tonnes, more than three times the official target of 17.1 million tonnes for the quarter ending September.

Rice inventory for the same period was 28.5 million tonnes against a target of 9.8 million tonnes.

Poor monsoon rainfall in key oilseeds and pulses growing regions is likely to hit their output, Thomas told reporters on the sidelines of a conference.

The expected drop in output pushed up local edible oil prices to record highs last month, while prices for summer-sown pulses also surged, helped also by demand ahead of key festivals.

The country relies on imports of pulses and edible oils to meet local consumption.

India's total edible oil imports in the current year ending October 31 could rise 13 percent to 9.5 million tonnes, while next year it may rise by as much as 10 percent if the poor monsoon cuts planting and hurts yields of oilseeds, said the country's leading edible oil importer in July.

The country is the world's biggest importer of edible oils and buys most of its requirement in the form of palm oil from Malaysia and Indonesia.

India annually imports around 3 million tonnes of pulses, mostly yellow peas, chickpeas and pigeon peas.

(Reporting by Mayank Bhardwaj and Ratnajyoti Dutta: Writing by Rajendra Jadhav; Editing by Jo Winterbottom and Himani Sarkar)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Caste Bias

Caste Bias

Bigoted teachers lead marginalised Indian school kids to drop out - HRW.  Full Article 

Ferry Tragedy

Ferry Tragedy

Divers feel with their hands for corpses in depths of S.Korean ferry.  Full Article 

Australia Determined

Australia Determined

Australia vows to keep searching to solve missing Malayasian plane mystery.  Full Article 

Guns and Gowns

Guns and Gowns

Film “The World Before Her” juxtaposes two faces of Indian woman.  Full Article 

Mobile Ads

Mobile Ads

Google extends reach into mobile apps with new ad feature.  Full Article 

Allegations Denied

Allegations Denied

Allegations of teen sex abuse by three Hollywood execs denied.  Full Article 

Rising Tensions

Rising Tensions

U.S. vows more sanctions on Russia unless tensions ease in Ukraine.  Full Article 

Need for Speed

Need for Speed

United must move fast with vital window looming.  Article 

Afghanistan Exit

Afghanistan Exit

Exclusive - U.S. force in Afghanistan may be cut to less than 10,000 troops  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage