By Rajendra Jadhav and Naveen Thukral
MUMBAI/SINGAPORE (Reuters) – India’s wheat exports in 2021 could quadruple from a year ago, to the highest level in eight years, with rising global prices and higher freight costs making Indian wheat profitable for Asian buyers, two industry representatives told Reuters.
Rising exports would help the world’s second-largest producer reduce record inventories and provide Asian buyers with cheaper supplies amid rising global prices due to limited supplies from big exporters such as Russia and Canada.
India’s wheat exports could increase to 4.2m tonnes this year, the highest since 2013, Nitin Gupta, vice president of Olam Agro India, told Reuters.
“There is good demand for Indian wheat for human consumption and also for animal feed,” said Gupta.
A Mumbai-based grain dealer with a global trading company, who declined to be identified, said exports could reach 4.4m tonnes.
In the first eight months of 2021, India’s exports rose 887% from a year earlier to 3.07m tonnes, with good demand from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Nepal and the UAE, according to compiled data by the Ministry of Commerce. A large part of exports last year took place in the last four months.
In recent deals, two shipments of around 100,000 tonnes of Indian wheat were sold to mills in Indonesia, while a shipment of around 50,000 tonnes was bought by feed manufacturers in the Philippines, a Singapore grain trader says.
“Based on C&F (cost and freight), Indian wheat is competitive in the Asian market,” he declared.
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