New Delhi — The US Department of Agriculture's India attaché sees the country's wheat exports reaching 2 million mt in the 2021-22 trade year, 26% lower on the year, as output is also forecast to decline.
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The trade year begins in July for all countries. India's wheat production will be 105 million mt in the 2021-22 marketing year, the New Delhi attache said, down from 107.86 million mt a year earlier, according to the report published on the USDA website on May 4. India's wheat marketing year runs from April through March.
"[F]ield reports indicate that production gains in the northern states will only partially offset the expected lower yields in central and eastern India compared to last year's record yield," the attache said.
Domestic prices of the food grain have remained firm, despite the likely fall in exports, due to strong government purchases under the minimum support price system, it said.
Indian traders are in talks to make export deals with counterparts in Bangladesh and Myanmar for the current marketing year, trade sources said.
Domestic prices in the major wheat producing states range from Rupees 18,400-19,200/mt ($245-$246/mt), slightly below the government's support price of Rupees 19,750/mt ($263/mt).
The expected decline in the production is seen supporting prices of the food grain in major domestic markets, it said.
The USDA hasn't made an official projection for India's new crop. India's government has estimated 109.2 million mt.
The attache put India's average wheat yields at 3.3 mt/ha, 3.3% lower than in 2020-21.
It expects yields to be largely at last year's level in most of northern states, particularly western Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana, due to early planting, lower temperatures and sufficient irrigation.
However, in central and eastern states like Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and eastern Uttar Pradesh, yields are seen to be 3%-6% lower on the year due to a rise in daytime temperatures, it said.
The attache estimated 2021-22 imports at 25,000 mt, unchanged from a year earlier, and put domestic consumption at 104 million mt, compared with 103.085 million mt a year earlier.
It put ending stocks at 26.3 million mt for 2021-22, down from 27.3 million mt a year earlier.