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India’s wheat imports to hit decade high

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India’s 2016/17 wheat imports are expected to increase more than five-fold to the highest in a decade, as a severe drought and unseasonal rains push domestic output down to the lowest since 2011.

A spike in overseas purchases by India, the world’s second largest producer and consumer of the grain, could increase wheat prices which have fallen to near five-year lows of $4.42-1/4 a bushel amid ample world supplies.

Wheat imports into India are likely to reach 2.75 million tonnes in the year to June 2017, according to a survey of 11 analysts and traders. Imports would have been even higher, but surplus stocks from a series of earlier bumper harvests are expected to help pick up some of the slack in output.