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At 3.34 lakh tonnes, wheat purchase by private traders highest in 9 years in Punjab

At 3.34 lakh tonnes, wheat purchase by private traders highest in 9 years in Punjab

The single day wheat purchase in Punjab by private traders on Tuesday stood at 28,400 tonnes. The wheat procurement in Punjab is expected to continue for two to three more weeks.

The wheat purchase by private traders in Punjab touched 3.34 lakh tonnes on Tuesday, highest in at least the past nine years. In 2014, it had stood at 2.9 lakh tonnes and could touch just 56,000 tonnes and 1.17 lakh tonnes in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

So far, the total wheat arrivals in the current rabi season has reached 67.5 lakh tonnes, of which 65.4 lakh tonnes has been procured by government agencies and private players. The single day purchase by private traders on Tuesday stood at 28,400 tonnes.

Procurement in Punjab for the ongoing season started on April 1 and is expected to continue for two to three more weeks.

“The private purchase this time (by the end of the season) as per our estimates may cross 10 lakh tonnes and it will be the highest ever since the government procurement by the state agencies started,” said an officer of the state food and civil supplies department.

The official said that so far, the figures of previous eight years are available and the highest was in the rabi season of 2014 when 2.9 lakh tonnes was recorded as bought by private traders followed by 2.62 lakh tonnes in 2017.

According to department officials, the private trade is expected to pick up during this week as wheat procurement, which was sluggish in Amritsar, Tarn Taran and Gurdaspur, is witnessing a big surge now.

“These districts have Jammu and Kashmir on the other wide of the border where a large number of wheat processing units are located, feeding the needs of their state,” a senior official in the food and supplies department said.

Officials say Russia-Ukraine war was having a spillover effect on procurement in Punjab. The two countries are major suppliers of the food grains to non-wheat producing countries, particularly in the middle-east and due to the war, the entire export has been stopped forcing the importing nations to look for other options.

As per reports, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat were the first choice of wheat exporting companies, who now might turn to Punjab as in these states harvest and purchase is reaching the conclusion stage. So far, none of the big traders has reported to have entered the state.

The quantum of private purchase from India can be judged from the fact that in Madhya pradesh, government agencies have purchased only seven lakh tonnes and rest has been bought by the private traders. In the last season, the state government’s purchase of wheat was 125 lakh tonnes.

According to Naresh Ghai, president of wheat flour mills association, Punjab, “due to the Ukraine war, there is a sentiment among the traders and wheat processing units to store the raw material”.

Big players have not entered the market so far, traders and processing unit owners are making purchases, he said.

“I expect the purchase by government agencies to be around 90-100 lakh tonnes,” he said. The state food department has made arrangements for 135 lakh tonnes of wheat.

©Hindustan Times

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