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Indian Government Is Expected To Maintain Open Market Sale Of Wheat And Rice In The Next Fiscal Year

Published Date: April 01, 2024

Wheat likely to be offered to mills at ₹2,275/quintal, rice reserve price may be ₹3,100/quintal. is a user-friendly SaaS based global trade hub and your streamlined solution for B2B rice procurement and sales. Connect with global bulk wheat buyers or bulk wheat sellers, bypass middlemen for higher profits, and secure the best bulk prices effortlessly. Simplify your wheat sales or procurement with 

OMSS Wheat Sales 

The Indian government has indicated that it is ready with the open market sale scheme (OMSS) policy for the next fiscal in an apparent move to keep private traders off the wheat market and allow official procurement to meet the target of 37.3 million tonnes (mt). Wheat is likely to be sold at a minimum ₹2,275/quintal (same as the minimum support price) across the country through e-auction throughout the year .Earlier this month, the Food Ministry conveyed its approval to the Food Corporation of India (FCI) on the policy for the sale of food grains (wheat and rice) stocks in excess of buffer stock norms under OMSS. However, the policy will be valid till July 31 with effect from April 1 in the next financial year. A review will be done in July based on the actual wheat procurement and the price will be fixed for the remaining period of the next fiscal, Food Ministry sources said. 

According to the policy, sale to private parties in open market through e-auction of wheat will be made at a pan-India reserve price of ₹2,275/quintal for under relaxed specification (URS) variety and ₹2,300/quintal for fair and average quality (FAQ) type of all crop years. 

For Millers

The ministry has mandated that in wheat-procuring States like Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh, no sales will be made during the procurement period, which is tentatively set until June 30. According to sources, the ministry will also decide how soon to launch the online auction and how much will be sold in each round based on wheat market prices. 

"This is a clear message to flour millers in the southern region not to buy wheat during this procurement season and instead get it from FCI at a subsidized rate, saving at least the transport and handling costs from Madhya Pradesh to their factory gate," said a leading flour miller in a northern state. 

The Food Ministry is said to have devised an aggressive plan to meet the wheat procurement target this year, as the Centre's buffer stock, managed by the Food Corporation of India (FCI), is expected to fall below the mandatory norm of 7.66 million tonnes by April 1. Wheat stocks, which are currently at a 7-year low, will fall below the buffer norms for the first time in 16 years. 

As the biggest wheat producer, Uttar Pradesh, set a record 6 mt procurement target and asked about 40 major traders, stockists, and flour millers to abstain from the market until the government's target was met. In UP, a district magistrate even went so far as to write Railways a letter requesting them to refuse an indent from the private sector to assign rakes for the transportation of wheat outside the State. 

Fiat sales to co-ops 

The pan-India reserve price of rice under the OMSS has been set by the Food Ministry at ₹3,100 per quintal until July 31. The selling price of ₹3,400 per quintal (which includes fortified rice) will remain the same for the northeastern, hilly, law-and-order, and natural disaster-affected states. When paddy procurement continues, the government forbids private parties in States that produce surplus rice from purchasing rice from FCI.

The Food Ministry will provide rice at ₹24/kg until June 30 and wheat at ₹23/kg until July 31 to semi-government and cooperative organizations like NAFED, NCCF, and Kendriya Bhandar as part of the retail sale scheme, which is intended to curb inflationary trends in the food economy. The sale will only proceed if these organizations consent to charge the maximum retail price (MRP) set by the government for the rice and atta (wheat flour). At the moment, rice has a fixed MRP of ₹29/kg and atta of ₹27.50/kg. 

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