Singapore: India has struck its first wheat import deals since 2007, buying the grain from Australia in containers, trade sources said on Friday.
“Our company has sold some wheat in containers to India,” said a Singapore-based trader. “I have done some deals today.”
Two other traders in Singapore and India confirmed the deals. One trader said that up to 10,000 tonnes of wheat had been sold for arrival at southern Indian ports in January.
The deals had been sealed between $270 and $300 a tonne, including cost and freight, mostly for Australian Prime Wheat (APW).
India is sitting on ample supplies of wheat, but this year’s worst monsoon since 1972, has raised doubts about the prospects of the winter-sown wheat crop. India had 28.2 million tonnes of wheat in government stocks by 30 September, government data show.
Traders said they were waiting for the first cargo to clear Indian customs, with more shipments to follow, as prices were attractive for mills in southern India to import wheat.
“Some business has taken place in containers, but there is a huge pipeline of trade which is waiting for the results of the first few containers and if it gets cleared, possibly you will see a large pick-up in shipments,” said one Singapore-based trader with an international trading house.
Indian wheat is quoted around $329 to $350 in southern India, making Australian wheat attractive.