INDIA – India is heading for a record wheat harvest this coming marketing year (MY) thanks to highly favorable weather conditions in the major wheat growing areas, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Wheat production is forecast at a record 110 million metric tons (MMT) from 30.9 million hectares, and up from last year’s record 109.6 MMT from 31.1 million hectares.

The record crop is expected to propel India into a new status as an emerging wheat exporter in the region particularly now when the Russo-Ukrainian war is disrupting supply from the Black Sea.

Post forecasts 2022/23 record wheat exports at 10 MMT on continued competitive prices in the region and sufficient domestic supplies.

 Based on the latest trade data and information, India’s 2021/22 wheat exports are estimated at 8.5 MMT, which is, itself, a record.

Provisional official figures for MY 2021/22 estimate wheat and wheat product exports from April 2021 to January 2022 at 6.6 MMT (wheat grain equivalent), the FAS said.

Egypt wheat exports from India

India has already found a major customer in Egypt which in April approved the Asian nation as a wheat supplier as it works to build its supplies and broaden its import sources.

Egypt is likely to import about 1 million tonnes of wheat from India, of which 240,000 tonnes will be shipped in April, the Business Standard reported, citing the commerce ministry.

Rice production for MY22/23 is forecast at 125 MMT from 46 million hectares planted area, with yields of4.08 MT/hectare (rough rice).

The estimate is lower than MY21/22 estimate of 129 MMT as Post expects some farmers to shift some unirrigated rice area to oilseeds due to high vegetable oil prices.

Grain production plummets

India’s 2021/22 (October 2021-January 2022) total rice exports are officially estimated at 6.8 MMT, up from 5.7 MMT during the same period last year on increased coarse rice exports to Bangladesh, China, and African countries.

Assuming no significant change in the current price parity for Indian rice, 2021/22 rice exports are expected to reach 20.5 MMT, and 2022/23 exports are forecast at 18 million metric tons, the FAS said.

Post however lowered its forecast for coarse harvest to 49.9MMT for MY21/22 due to lower production of other coarse grains despite expect record harvest for maize.

Despite India’s export competitiveness for corn, Post forecasts 2022/23 exports lower at 2.4 MMT and imports at 100,000 MT on forecast tight domestic supplies and strong demand.

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