Grain boom

India’s rice and corn production figures are set to hit record highs in the current year, while wheat production is likely to slide.

Published : Jul 04, 2018 12:30 IST

India is set for a record 2017-18 (October/September year) rice production of 110 million tonnes and a record corn production of 27 million tonnes, according to a recent report by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The report forecast a dip in wheat production in the 2018-19 (April/March) marketing year at 95 million tonnes, following a record harvest of 98.5 million tonnes in the previous year, on account of a fall in the area under cultivation. According to the report, despite sufficient domestic supplies, 2018-19 wheat imports are likely to touch 1.5 million tonnes to “augment quality wheat requirement”.

The country would continue to be the largest rice exporter in the world, with 2018 calendar year rice exports estimated at a record 13 million tonnes, the report said. India has been the world's top rice exporter since 2014, followed by Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan, Myanmar and the United States. The top importers of Indian rice in 2017 were Bangladesh, Iran and Senegal.

Owing to growing demand from the feed sector, India will likely emerge as a net importer of corn in 2018-19, with imports forecast at 5,00,000 tonnes, according to the USDA report.

The government’s rice procurement had been steadily rising in recent years, from 31.85 million tonnes to a projected 38.5 million tonnes in 2017-18, the report said.

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