India to offer extra wheat to biscuit firms, flour mills

NEW DELHI Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:42pm IST

A dumper unloads wheat as a crane loads onto a cargo ship at the Mundra port in Gujarat September 24, 2012. REUTERS/Amit Dave/Files

A dumper unloads wheat as a crane loads onto a cargo ship at the Mundra port in Gujarat September 24, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Amit Dave/Files

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India will offer an extra 6.5 million tonnes of wheat to commercial biscuit makers and flour millers at cheap prices as it seeks to trim bulging stocks and keep a lid on local prices, the government said on Saturday.

India, the world's second-biggest rice and wheat producer, has been struggling to store huge stockpiles of the staples after bumper harvests since 2007. Some 6 million tonnes are still under tarpaulin at risk of decay.

To avoid further damage, the government freed up 3 million tonnes of wheat in June for sale to bulk consumers such as biscuit makers and flour mills at $210 per tonne. The following month, it allowed 2 million tonnes of wheat exports.

The government also approved allocating 500,000 tonnes each of wheat and rice to sell to states.

(Reporting by Mayank Bharadwaj; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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