The public trading agencies have contracted about 11.5 lakh tonnes of Food Corporation of India (FCI) wheat for exports and have shipped about seven lakh tonnes so far. To clear surplus stocks in the FCI, the Centre has allowed export of 20 lakh tonne of wheat through PSUs such as MMTC, STC and PEC by March 2013.
“Out of 20 lakh tonnes, as much as 11.5 lakh tonne has been contracted for export and about 7 lakh tonne has been shipped so far,” a senior food ministry official said.
The PSUs hope to give contracts for the rest of the quantity by February next year, the official said.
Much of Indian wheat exports have so far been to neighbouring Bangladesh followed by South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Yemen, Oman, Jakarta, among others. Wheat shipments from India have fetched higher price in the range of $300-319 per tonne. Recently, a tender was awarded at $315 a tonne, higher than $308 a tonne quoted on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBoT).
“A few months back, Indian wheat was quoted lower by $30 a tonne compared to CBoT price. Now, we are getting good price as global buyers are confident that India is coming up as an assured and long-time supplier,” the official said.
Wheat stocks in the central pool stood at 405 lakh tonnes, as on November 6, almost double the 212 lakh tonne of the actual buffer requirement for the same period. The government godowns are overflowing due to a record production and procurement in the last two consecutive years.