Wheat stock in Central pool at lowest level since 2008

Wheat stock in the Central pool stood at 311.42 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) on June 1, which is the lowest since 2008 when the figure was 241.23 LMT. Wheat stock was at 602.91 LMT on June 1, last year.

While there is a sharp dip in the wheat stock this year, it is still higher than the government’s buffer stock norms. As per these norms, the operational stock of wheat should be 44.60 LMT as on April 1; 245.80 LMT as on July 1; 175.20 LMT as on October 1; and 108 LMT as on January 1. In addition to this, a strategic reserve of 30 LMT is required to be maintained on all these four dates.

While wheat stock has come down, rice stock stood at 496.69 LMT as on June 1, this year. This is marginally higher than last year’s 491.50 LMT.

The decline in wheat stock is mainly because of lower procurement in the ongoing rabi marketing season 2022-23. As per the Food Corporation of India, a quantity of 187.28 LMT wheat has been procured till June 5. This is much lower when compared to last year’s wheat procurement. In the last rabi marketing season, the government procured a record 433 LMT wheat.

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On May 13, the government had banned wheat export. The move was aimed at increasing the availability of wheat in the domestic market in order to bring down prices.

Besides, the government has revised the allocation of wheat to states under its two programs — National Food Security Act, 2013 and the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana.

On May 14, the Center announced a cut in the wheat allocation of 10 states under the NFSA. These states have been allocated an additional quantity of rice that is equal to the cut in their wheat allocation. The 10 states for which wheat allocation was revised downward are: Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

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