NEW DELHI: India is likely to import about 2-3 million tonnes of wheat in the crop year starting in July, even as the Country is set for a bumper domestic harvest, the head of conglomerate Adani Enterprises’ agribusiness division said recently. India is expected to produce about 95 million tonnes of wheat from the upcoming harvest, Adani Agribusiness Chief Atul Chaturvedi said recently, up from last year’s 85 million tonnes estimated by traders. “It takes a few years of bumper production to get the stocks to comfortable levels,” said Chaturvedi, pointing to the need for more imports.
He was speaking on the eve of a major palm oil conference in Kuala Lumpur: As well as grains and pulses, his firm processes oilseeds and refines vegetable oils. India, the world’s second-largest wheat consumer, has bought more than 5 million tonnes of wheat since June last year, after two consecutive years of decline in production due to droughts and unseasonal rains ahead of harvest. India is also the world’s second-biggest wheat producer.
The domestic wheat harvest is expected to peak in April, likely limiting purchases in the following months, but traders expect importers to step up purchases towards the end of the year when supplies are likely to tighten.