December 10, 2012 / 8:33 AM / 5 years ago

OUTLOOK-India wheat seen down on weak demand; higher sowing

MUMBAI, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Indian wheat futures are likely to ease this week on weak demand and improvement in supplies amid expectations of a bumper crop from a likely increase in the area under cultivation.

“Conditions are favourable for a bumper crop, and sowing is progressing well. Moreover, millers waiting for supplies from government warehouses have reduced purchase from spot markets,” said Manjit Singh, a trader based in Ludhiana, Punjab.

Heavy rains in September have raised moisture level in the soil and early onset of winter have made conditions favourable for higher planting of wheat and the country may harvest surplus wheat for the sixth time.

Wheat sowing has been completed in 18.3 million hectares, little higher than 18.1 million hectares in the previous year, the farm ministry data showed on Friday.

Local wheat prices are likely to remain subdued this week as additional supplies from government warehouses are expected to reach markets soon. That could outweigh buying by exporters to meet overseas demand and support wheat prices, traders said.

In Chicago, the key December contract on CBOT was trading down 0.62 percent at $8.39 per bushel at 0825 GMT.

The most-traded contract for January on the National Commodity and Derivative Exchange (NCDEX) was trading down 0.31 percent at 1,597 rupees per 100 kg. (around $7.5 per bushel)

Last week, volumes shifted to January contract from December contract on the NCDEX. ($1 = 54.4750 rupees) (Reporting by Deepak Sharma; Editing by Anand Basu)

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