India’s Wheat Exports Seen at 5 Million Tons Amid Record Crop

India may export 5 million metric tons of wheat in the 2012-13 marketing year after a record-high national harvest, said N. Sharan, a director in the country’s Department of Food and Public Distribution.

India, the world’s second-biggest wheat producer, began allowing exports of the grain in September, Sharan said in an interview today after a speech at the International Grains Council’s annual conference in London. India banned private companies from shipping wheat in early 2007 and non-basmati rice in April 2008 to bolster domestic supplies amid a global food crisis. Since September, the country has shipped about 4 million tons of rice, Sharan said.

“Tenders have been floated and we’re doing pricing” for wheat, he said. “Once we get a suitable price, it will be exported.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that India’s wheat harvest will total 91 million tons in the 2012-13 year, a fifth consecutive record. The country’s crop is second only to China’s.

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