India’s Wheat Production Is Set To Jump Owing To Higher Planting Areas, Favorable Weather

India’s Wheat Production Is Set To Jump Owing To Higher Planting Areas, Favorable Weather

Located in South Asia, India is the 2nd largest wheat producer and consumer in the world, ranking behind China.

India’s Wheat Export Restrictions

The Government of India (GOI) banned the exports of wheat in May ’22 and further restricted wheat flour shipments from July 22. However, the government still permitted a few shipments in order to meet the food security requirements of countries around the world.

The Government of India’s move was aimed at ensuring adequate stocks for domestic consumption especially in the aftermath of Russia-Ukraine war which caused a global grain shortage and led to a surge in global demand. Also, a sub-power harvest because of drought in major wheat growing states of the country which drove prices in the domestic markets forced the government to take such a step.

A higher wheat output could encourage India to consider lifting the ban on exports of the staple and ease concerns over the persistently high food prices.

Wheat Production In India

As per scientists and traders, wheat production in India is set to witness a record high since all-time high prices of the commodity prompted Indian farmers to expand acreage and make use of high-yielding varieties of the staple along with expected good weather conditions.

Gyanendra Singh, the Director at the Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research said “This year production could rise to 112 million metric tonnes (MMT) because of the higher area and favorable weather.”

As per the Government estimates, in 2021-22, India’s wheat output fell to 106.84MMT from 109.59MMT in the previous year. The Foreign Agriculture Service of the US Department of Agriculture has pegged India’s wheat production at 100MMT in 2021-22 while traders estimate that the output fell to as low as 95MMT due to an early heatwave in the year.

Since 1st October’22, Indian farmers have planted wheat on 33.22 million hectares which is up nearly 1% since the previous year.

Favorable Weather Witnessed In The Current Crop Season

In the current crop-growing season, the weather in key wheat-producing states such as Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, and Haryana have witnessed favorable temperatures i.e. colder than usual which is beneficial for growth in the crop cycle. Mr. Gyanendra Singh also said that the cold wave is beneficial for the crop’s growth and that farmers have opted for newer high-yielding varieties which are much more resilient to climate change.

In India, the farmers grow only 1 wheat crop in a year, the planting of which commences in October and November and the harvest starts in March. A New Delhi-based trader with a global trade house said that while the weather has been supportive for the crop so far, a sudden spike in temperature during February and March could affect the crop and so they are hoping that the weather stays low during those months.

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