- freeimages.comIndia will introduce a 10 percent import duty on wheat to curb overseas purchases when there are ample domestic stocks.
India will introduce a 10 percent import duty on wheat to curb overseas purchases when there are ample domestic stocks.
Indian flour millers and global trading companies closed deals to import 500,000 tons of Australian wheat between March and June -- the biggest amount in more than a decade, despite surplus stocks.
Millers first placed the orders in India’s southern ports over concerns that February and March rains could cut wheat output, especially the high-protein varieties used to make pizzas and pasta. Attractive prices -- $255 to $275 per ton -- then prompted Cargill, Louis Dreyfus and Glencore to follow.
India, the world’s second-largest producer and consumer of wheat, has large stockpiles of the grain after eight consecutive years of bumper harvests. This year’s wheat output for India is estimated at about 90 million tons, which is 5 percent lower than in 2014, but still exceeding domestic demand of 72 million tons. After unusually high temperatures in 2006-07, the country was forced to import millions of tons of expensive wheat from Russia and Australia.
Top officials from the ministries of farm, food, trade and finance reportedly have agreed to the import duty to cut imports. Prime Minister Narendra Modi must sign off on the move.