Global wheat sowing may be down 1.6%, to rise in India

Global wheat sowing may be down 1.6%, to rise in India


New Delhi: Globally, wheat sowing may drop by 1.6% to 221.7 million hectares in the 2008-09 season due to falling prices and high input costs, while planting in India, the world’s second-largest producer, is expected to rise because of good prices.

“Falling wheat prices and high input costs will affect plantings in major producing countries," London-based International Grain Council said in its latest Grain Market Report.

The total harvested area is forecast to fall by 1.6% to 221.7 million hectares in the 2009 season, it said, adding that global wheat production estimates, however, remained at 683 million tonnes as forecast last month, higher than the 610 million tonnes in the 2008 season.

“Higher production in the European Union is being offset by further reductions in Australia, where late rains are disrupting harvesting," the IGC said.

Meanwhile in India, wheat sowing is in full swing as farmers are happy with the current rate of government-assured Rs1,000 per quintal ($200.47 a tonne), which is the minimum support price (MSP).

The target of raising the wheat area by one million hectares this year will definitely be achieved, as more acreage is expected in the non-traditional wheat-growing states, India’s Agriculture Secretary T Nanda Kumar said Thursday. Wheat acreage last year was around 28 million hectares.

On the other hand, noting declining price trends the IGC said prices of wheat and other commodities have fallen again this month. The export price of wheat registered a net decline of $20 per tonne.