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Wheat Prices Remain Steady to Firm Amid Govt Policy Expectations

18 Jun 2024 6:33 pm
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New Delhi, June 18 (Commoditiescontrol): Wheat prices continued to trade steady to firm across major centers on Tuesday, bolstered by government reports suggesting potential alterations to the import duty structure. Additional support for the market comes from lower government wheat procurement and expectations that the government may soon initiate sales through the Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS).

Government procurement of wheat is nearly complete, with the final procurement figure estimated at 265 lakh tons. A few more tons (100-500) may come from Punjab and its neighboring regions, slightly increasing the total. Reports indicate that the government might provide limited wheat supplies for the "Bharat Atta" program, which is currently preventing a sharp rise in wheat prices due to the relatively low quantities being supplied.

In Delhi, wheat prices remained steady at INR 2660-2670 per quintal. Similarly, Rajasthan's new wheat traded steady at INR 2650-2660 per quintal. Prices in Bengaluru increased by INR 20 per quintal, trading at INR 2880 per quintal (net). In Madhya Pradesh, wheat prices held steady at INR 2610-2620 per quintal (ex-warehouse), while in Uttar Pradesh, prices were stable at INR 2570 per quintal. Uttarakhand also saw steady prices at INR 2580 per quintal, and Gujarat's prices remained unchanged at INR 2670 per quintal. Kolkata maintained a steady price of INR 2750 per quintal, and Bihar's wheat prices were stable at INR 2550-2560 per quintal. In Goa, mill-delivered rates were trading at INR 2900 per quintal.

With lower government procurement and a weak stock position, wheat prices are expected to remain supported in the near term. Rack loading has commenced in Madhya Pradesh, which is anticipated to further boost prices. In Central India, multinational companies are actively purchasing wheat, and there has been improved buying from South Indian millers in recent days, although their activity has reduced after substantial purchases in the past few weeks.

Heatwave conditions are forecasted to persist in Southern states for a few more days, with temperatures expected to drop starting this weekend. As the monsoon progresses across India, the demand for processed wheat products is likely to increase. Despite government statements suggesting that OMSS implementation is not imminent, wheat prices are projected to improve by INR 40-60 per quintal in the near term.

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