India. Wheat Prices Edge Up as Govt Starts Procurement


Wheat prices have edged up as the government has started procurement in Madhya Pradesh, although forecast of a bumper crop arrival in April across the northern belt has capped gains.

In spot markets of Indore and Rajkot, new crop prices ranged from . 1,525 to ' ' . 1,575 a quintal on Thursday, gaining ' . 25-30 a quintal in the past two-three days. The government agencies will procure wheat at the minimum support price of ' . 1,625 a quintal. While procurement has started in MP, it will soon begin in Rajasthan and Gujarat, followed by Punjab and Haryana from April 1.

Wheat prices dropped after tradersimported more than five million tonnes since the middle of 2016.

The April contract of wheat on NCDEX at ' . 1,639 a quintal showed that prices are poised to remain stable, with open interest of 4,030 lots.The government is targeting procurement of 33 million tonnes of wheat out of the anticipated total output of 96.5 million tonnes this season.

Flour millers are engaged in major buying of wheat, said Vikas Aggarwal, a graintrader from Indore. He said that ITC has started wheat procurement and that Patanjali is going to enter the market soon in Madhya Pradesh. \x93With government procuring wheat, farmers will get a good price. But in places where government doesn't buy prices will drop due to a very good crop,\x93 he said.

MNCs such as Cargill, Louis Dreyfus and Glencore are not currently buying wheat, traders said. \x93Bulk buyers and consumers are following a wait and watch policy in order to start covering their requirement of wheat. With government likely to extend methyl bromide fumigation at discharge port for another one year, the only clarity now awaited is on the import duty structure,\x93 said Rajiv Yadav, vice president-grains at Noble Natural Resources.


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