Agri Business

Covid curbs: Millers see dip wheat offtake

Vishwanath Kulkarni Bengaluru | Updated on April 28, 2021

Consumption will come down due to the lockdown measures, feel traders

Roller flour millers fear that wheat consumption will take a hit as the coronavirus cases surge across the country and States take tough measures including lockdown to contain the pandemic. Also, the Centre’s decision to allocate additional 5 kg of foodgrains to 80 crore beneficiaries under PM Garib Kalyan Yojana through the public distribution system during May-June will influence demand and weigh on the prices of the cereal, they said.

Measures taken by the States to contain the pandemic will hit the flour consumption in the out-of-home category as hotels and restaurants, fast food outlets are being forced to shut their operations. Maida or refined flour is mainly consumed in this out-of-home category. “We expect the consumption to come down by 25-30 per cent,” said Pramod Kumar S, Senior Vice-President of the Roller Flour Mills Federation of India. However, the millers are hoping that the demand impact will not be as severe as the one witnessed during the 2020 lockdown.

Drop in prices

Wheat prices, which had edged up a bit with the commencement of the public procurement have softened with the recent developments. Mill delivered price in Bengaluru for wheat sourced from Uttar Pradesh have dropped by ₹50-60 per quintal over the past few days to around ₹2,050 a quintal, a miller said. Millers from the South are largely sourcing from Uttar Pradesh this year as arrivals in Madhya Pradesh have been sluggish.

The minimum support price for wheat is ₹1,975 a quintal. Modal prices are hovering between ₹1,690-1,975 in various markets of Uttar Pradesh, the largest producing state for the cereal.

As on Monday, the Government agencies have so far procured 23.24 million tonne, bulk of it from Punjab and Haryana. Procurement in Punjab has crossed 9 million tonnes, while in Haryana the purchases have exceeded 7.2 million tonnes. In Madhya Pradesh, wheat procurement stood at 5.47 million tonnes, while in Uttar Pradesh, the purchases under MSP stood at 0.79 million tonnes.

Reduction in consumption

Pramod Kumar Vaish, President, UP Roller Flour Millers Association in Barabanki, said consumption will come down due to the lockdown measures. Schools and colleges, hostels are shut and there are curbs of marriages and social functions, which will impact the consumption of maida. Already, the spread of corona has started influencing the market arrivals of wheat to some extent, he said. .

Vaish said the market will be under pressure going ahead due to the uncertainty triggered by the pandemic. Last year also, the market was down due to the impact of pandemic on the consumption, he added.

Wheat production, according to the 2nd Advance estimates by the Agriculture Ministry, is seen higher at 109 million tonnes.

Published on April 27, 2021

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

You May Also Like