Indian wheat attracts better price in international market

New Delhi, June 27 (IANS) Indian wheat is getting comparatively better price in the international markety because of good quality and competitive pricing. The Food Corporation of India has managed to sell about four million tonnes of wheat at an average price of $311.69 per tonne.

"We got a very good response to our wheat despite a drop in the global demand," said a FCI official. This, he said, proved that the corporation's wheat has a wider and higher acceptability in the international market.

The main players in the international wheat market are the US, Canada, Ukraine, Australia, Russia and Argentina.

According to the latest tender opened, India got $300.10 per tonne for the lot offered for export as compared to the July future CBOT (Chicago Board of Trade) price ($260) as on June 3. The latest lot crossed the CBOT price by nearly $50 per tonne.

After a long gap, the government this year allowed export of 4.5 million tonnes of wheat, thanks to a massive rise in the production and the excess stock in the country. Earlier, during 2002-04, India had exported wheat on a commercial basis. However, prices were not so attractive then.

The state-run agency has so far exported 4.03 million tonnes. The reserve price for the initial lot of two million tonnes was just $228 a tonne, while for the second lot it was fixed at $300 per tonne.

"There is a huge demand for our wheat now," said the official. "We get prices as good as that of Australian Soft Wheat, one of the best in the world."

The main buyers for Indian wheat are South Korea (10,01,789 tonnes), Ethiopia (6,80,358 tonnes), Bangladesh (6,75,432 tonnes), Yemen (3,06,519 tonnes), Thailand (2,71,767 tonnes) and Indonesia (2,10,700 tonnes).

The other buyers include Sharjah, Dubai, Sudan, Oman, Qatar, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines.

The official said the FCI has ensured that the Indian wheat got a "credible brand". "The samples were first sent for tests at the Directorate of Wheat Research at Karnal (Haryana) for chemical parameters. Besides the tests by the buyer-representatives, FCI also made sure of tests to prevent rejection of shipments. We exported the wheat only after the buyers got satisfied themselves about the product."

He said FCI could secure a better price if the handling process was fully mechanised.