New Delhi: The Centre has decided not to buy wheat against its one million tonne import tender as prices quoted by trading firms were high, a government official said on 30 May 2007.
“We are not going to buy because of high prices,” the official, who did not want to be named, told Reuters.
State Trading Corp., which floated the tender, had received seven bids from international trading firms at between $265.50 and $296 per tonne—about a fifth more than what India paid last year.
The state-run firm negotiated with international trading firms Glencore and Toepfer to bring down the lowest price offered to $263 per tonne for 300,000 tonnes of wheat, traders and one official said.
The proposal has been shot down by the food ministry, the government official said.
On 29 May, the official said India aimed to buy 11 million tonnes wheat from domestic farmers this year against 9.2 million tonnes purchased last year.
India needs 12 million tonnes wheat annually to run its public distribution system for the poor.
The country grows only one wheat crop in a year, mainly in northern states of Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh and central state of Madhya Pradesh.
India is likely to produce 73.7 million tonnes wheat in 2007, against 69.48 million tonnes last year. Sowing is done in the winter months of November and December, and harvest begins in late March and early April.