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Indian wheat exports to slow on fiercer competition
NEW DELHI , Indian wheat sales are likely to take a hit after September when global supplies increase unless the government cuts the price at which it sells the grain to exporters, traders said on Wednesday.
"After the recent hike in prices we have become uncompetitive," leading New Delhi-based grain exporter Raj Kumar Jain told Reuters. "We are already losing tenders and the situation is going to further worsen in the coming months."
India, trying to cut grain stocks of around 40 million tonnes, sells wheat and rice to exporters at subsidised prices.
The country has been exporting 300,000 to 400,000 tonnes of wheat a month, mainly to Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
The cost-and-freight price of Indian wheat to Southeast Asia is around $150 a tonne compared with $110 a tonne two years ago when it started exporting wheat. Traders want the current price to be cut by $10 a tonne.
"We had good sales last year because Australia was not there in the market but this year they are expected to harvest a good crop," Ahmedabad-based grain exporter Gagan Gulati said.
Wheat from Australia and other countries is expected to enter the market after harvests in September.
Traders said Australian wheat, despite being more expensive than Indian grain, would find buyers in Southeast Asia because of its higher quality and lower freight rates.
India last month fixed the price of wheat sold to exporters from the new crop, harvested in April, at 5,550 rupees a tonne.
The government said wheat from the 2002/03 (April-March) crop will be given to exporters at 5,250 rupees/tonne. Wheat from the 2001/02 and 2000/01 crops will be sold at 5,110 rupees/tonne.
The landed cost of Australian wheat in September was expected to be about $4 less than India's new price and the quality of the Australian wheat would be superior, traders said.
MGR Archive 3.7.2003
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Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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