Wheat buy in 2017-18 crosses last year's total

Wheat procurement by state and central agencies surpassed last year’s total purchases as on date and totaled around 24.66 million tonnes, as against 20.84 million tonnes during the same period last year.


In the 2016-17 crop marketing year, the central government purchased 22.9 million tonnes of wheat for the central pool, almost 22 per cent less than the targeted procurement of 28 million tonnes. For 2017-18, the Centre has fixed a target of purchasing 33 million tonnes of wheat from farmers, almost 44 per cent more than the actual procurement of last year, mainly on the hopes of a bumper production.


The Centre estimates wheat production in the 2017-18 crop year to be at an all-time high of around 98 million tonnes, on the back of record sowing and favourable weather conditions.


However, according to trade sources, with arrivals reportedly showing signs of tapering off in Madhya Pradesh and Punjab since the past one week, doubts have started creeping in as to whether the Centre would be able to reach the target of 33 million.


In Madhya Pradesh, traders said that despite a 30 per cent increase in wheat production this year, prices haven’t shown any declining trend.


Wheat this year in the state is reportedly selling at around Rs 2,000-3,500 per quintal in some places, while the poorest quality is commanding around Rs 1,700 per quintal.


The peak procurement seasons starts tapering off from May 15-20 onwards and virtually comes to an end around the last week of June.


In Uttar Pradesh, the data showed that against the initial target of purchasing 3 million tonnes of wheat from farmers, which was later revised upward to 8 million tonnes by the newly elected Yogi Adityanath government, just over 0.9 million tonnes has been bought so far.


Wheat grown in some parts of western UP is still to reach the mandis as the sowing started late there because of the delay in harvesting sugarcane.


However, how much that will help UP to reach the targeted procurement remains to be seen.

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