But India’s latest attempt to boost wheat exports and cut its bulging stocks by offering private traders the chance to buy up to 5 million tonnes direct from warehouses is likely to be spurned by most traders as they baulk at the costs of transportation and financing. New Delhi has also offered 4.5 million tonnes of wheat via tenders by state traders, of which about 3.6 million tonnes have been contracted for exports.
New Delhi uses the stocks to distribute cheap grain to its half a billion poor people and also holds some in inventory as a buffer for emergencies. The government is trying to expand the subsidised food programme but its bill has yet to be approved. India’s rice inventory on May 1 was 34.7 million tonnes against 35.5 million tonnes in the previous month, the sources added.