This year, wheat crop was selling above MSP but after the ban, the rates had crashed bringing it near the MSP.

Two weeks after the partial ban on wheat export by the Indian government, the rates of wheat have started rising in Punjab mandis where the grain is being sold at Rs 100 above the MSP, which is Rs 2015 per quintal. The grain is coming to the big mandis and several farmers, who had some portion of their produce, are selling it outside the mandis too.

This year, wheat crop was selling above MSP but after the ban, the rates had crashed bringing it near the MSP.

“On Monday around 1,000 bags of 50kg each were sold in Khanna Mandi, the largest grain market in Asia, and farmers got a rate of Rs 2110 per quintal which was Rs 95 above per quintal of the MSP. Even in the past three days 400 to 500 quintals gain is reaching mandi daily and the rate is above Rs. 2100 only. During the main procurement season, private players were offering just Rs 5 to 10 above the MSP rate,” said Harbans Singh Rosha, president of Khanna Mandi Arhtiya Association, adding that wheat will keep coming in for the next 3-4 weeks in the market and hopefully farmers will get a good price.

Farmer Satnam Singh of a Jalandhar village said that he was stressed when wheat export got banned and rates in the open market started falling. “I panicked and didn’t know what to do at first, but I decided to not sell my crop. Now, rates have started increasing again and private players are offering me Rs 2115 to Rs 2120 per quintal. I have now decided to wait a little longer to study the prices before I make a deal for my crops,” Satnam said, adding that the same private players who were offereing him Rs 2020 per quintal last week are now wanting to shell Rs 2120 per quintal.

Naresh Ghai, president of Punjab Rollers Flour Mills Association, said that now the rates of wheat and flour both are much stable. While wheat is now being sold for around Rs 2100 per quintal, the rate of flour is Rs 25 per kg, Ghai said. He added that even with the partial ban on wheat export, there was little impact in Punjab compared to other states. He further explained that Punjab is a landlocked state and has no port near it to export the grain. The state produces a huge amount of wheat and the farmers have only two options – either to sell the produce to the government at MSP or to the local traders, who are offering a little over the MSP.

Experts added that after government procurement, which is on till May 31 but only on paper, traders want to buy the available grain in the mandis and are offering Rs 2100 per quintal. Traders feel that transporting it from other states will cost them much more than what they are offering. Even as other states have a higher scope of export due to their proximity to international borders and ports, the rates there were very high even before the announcement of export ban. “Now despite the downward trend in the prices, which is still above MSP, in those states, wheat will cost higher for Punjab traders after adding transportation charges due to which they want to purchase it from here and offer good price to farmers too,” said Food and Civil Supply department sources.

Meanwhile, in Rajasthan the wheat rates have not gained much. “Farmer are selling their wheat at the rate of Rs 2035 to 2050 per quintal in both Hanumangarh and Sri Ganganagar mandis which they were selling at the rate of Rs 2200 to 2300 per quintal before the export ban,” said grain merchant and commission agency, Deepak Saharan, from Hanumangarh mandi, adding that in Rajasthan a large amount of wheat is still lying with the farmers because of which the rates are not going up.
“Even several farmers, who are not registered with the procurement agencies are selling it below MSP,” he added.

In Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh rates are both above and below the MSP. In UP, the average rate is Rs 2030 per quintal while farmers are selling it for anywhere between Rs 1970 and Rs 2165 per quintal. In MP, average price is Rs 2041 per quintal and farmers are getting Rs 1900 to Rs 2800 per quintal depending on the variety. In Haryana, the average price is Rs 2020 per quintal and here the crop is mostly being sold at MSP rate. While Haryana also does not have a port, but traders from Delhi, Rajasthan and UP were purchasing from here this season because of its proximity to these states.

In this season, Punjab is the only state that which has contributed around 53% of the total wheat procured for the national pool as over 102 lakh quintals crop had arrived in Punjab mandi’s of which 96 lakh tonne was purchased by the government agencies for the central pool and the remaining over six lakh tonne was purchased by private players. In Haryana, only 40.72 lakh was procured by government against 84.93 lakh tonne last year. In UP, the government procurement is just 2.46 lakh tonne against 56.41 lakh tonne last year. In MP, the government procurement is just 42.09 lakh tonne this year against 128.16 lakh tonne last year and in Rajasthan, the government procurement is just 1000 tonne against 23.4 lakh tonne last year.

Source : Indian Express