Wheat production in India will probably fall short of a government forecast, causing the world’s second-biggest grower to import a large quantity amid declining domestic inventory.
Imports in 2017-18 may total 2 million tons, the second highest level in 11 years. India scrapped its import duty in December and has been purchasing high-protein grain from Australia, Russia and Ukraine.
A consultant said that even if India were to raise its import duty to 25 percent from zero, private buyers may still seek imports. “Imports will happen mainly to fulfill needs of millers in South India. Most of the imports next season are expected to come from Australia.”
“South India will definitely need imports,” said Sudhakar Tomar, MD of Dubai-based Hakan Agro DMCC, a trader and processor of commodities. “For continuous food security, it is imperative for the government to allow imports post its procurement. The government should also protect the farmer to encourage him to grow by imposing an import duty during harvest.”