Singapore: The US wheat industry is aiming for sales of up to one million tonnes (mt) of wheat to India this year as some of its proposals on quality specifications have been well received by New Delhi, a US industry official said 18 May 2007.
Last year, the US could not sell wheat to India, which had imported 5.5mt of the grain, because of quality issues.
“We are confident of moving wheat to India this year,” said Mark Samson, vice-president for South Asia of the US Wheat Associates, an export market development organization
“Talks are moving in a positive direction. We, along with the US department of agriculture, submitted some proposals to the Indian government. Some of them have received praise,” he added. An Indian government delegation earlier this week held talks with US officials on wheat safety issues.
India’s State Trading Corp. has tendered to import one mt of wheat this year. The bidding deadline for the tender closes on 21 May.
Industry officials hope that India would need at least three mt of wheat imports this year to meet its domestic requirements. Some traders expect that imports by India could be as high as five mt.
“We are expecting to hear something from the Indian government on our proposals by the end of next week,” Samson said. India has one wheat crop a year, mostly in its northern states.
Output has been stagnating at around 70mt annually, while consumption has been growing steadily.
The agriculture ministry has forecast that India’s wheat output would rise about 5.6% to 73.3mt this year, from 69.4mt in 2006.