NEW DELHI: The Government is set to offer 2 to 3 million tonnes of wheat to bulk consumers, such as flour millers and biscuit makers, as part of efforts to cool record high prices, even as state reserves have dropped to the lowest in six years.
Wheat prices have surged in the country this year after a sudden rise in temperatures hit crop yields and output.
A jump in exports following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine also pushed up local wheat prices, prompting India, the world’s second-biggest producer of the grain, to order a ban on exports in May, but that has failed to stop domestic prices rising. As open market prices rose above the rate at which the Government buys the staple from domestic farmers, state purchases of wheat have fallen by 53 per cent this year to 18.8 million tonnes.
“We’re planning to offload wheat in the open market to control prices as we can’t afford to have yet another year of lower procurement (when purchases start in March/April 2023),” a source was quoted as saying in a media report. “In terms of stocks, we have the elbow room to intervene in the market,” he said.