The Haryana State Cooperative Supply and Marketing Federation (HAFED) has invited bids for the sale of 1.04 lakh tonnes(lt) of wheat, procured by it commercially from Haryana and Madhya Pradesh during the harvesting season in April-June this year.
The last date for the submission of bids is August 22 and the tender will be opened the next day.
Out of the total quantity to be sold, 42,075 tonnes are available at different locations in Sirsa district of Haryana, while the remaining 62,193 tonnes will be sold in Madhya Pradesh, where the stocks are kept in Ujjain, Indore, Dewas, Vidisha, Guna, Ashoknagar and Bhopal.
“The buyer shall complete the lifting of stocks within the free lifting period of 40 days (inclusive gazetted holidays) from the next date of issue of the acceptance letter by HAFED irrespective of the quantity allotted,” the notice said.
Each bid shall be for a minimum quantity of 5,000 tonnes or the complete quantity as per the lot size, whichever is less. In case the complete quantity stored at a particular godown is allotted to a single bidder, he/she shall be required to lift the complete quantity including over and above quantity than the allotted quantity, if any, after depositing the due payment calculated at the accepted tender rate for that location.
In case the quantity stored at a godown is more than 5,000 tonnes and the entire quantity stored at the godown is allotted to more than one bidder, whether in one tender or in different tenders, then the bidder who will lift the last consignment will be required to lift the balance quantity over and above the allotted quantity, if any, after depositing the due payment calculated at the accepted tender rate.
“It is very clear that HAFED has purchased the wheat commercially, but it is unusual for a State government agency to buy and store in another State, sensing a business opportunity,” said an expert who also questioned the timing of the sale when there is speculation in the market that the government is likely to impose a stock limit. The availability will definitely increase in the market when wheat stored by non-traditional players start releasing the stock, the expert said.
Taking a serious view of the 10 per cent surge in wheat prices since June-end, the Centre is considering various measures to bring down the prices—from releasing the cereal under the open market sale scheme (OMSS) for user industries to lowering the import duty to zero. In a meeting with representatives of the Roller Flour Mills Federation of India (RFMFI) last week, Food Ministry officials said the Centre is closely monitoring the availability of wheat for consumers and user industries, besides keeping an eye on its price movements.
The national weighted average modal price (the rate at which most trades take place) across the agricultural produce marketing committee yards in the country has increased by 11.1 per cent since July 1 to ₹2,302 a quintal from ₹2,072. Since the beginning of this month, prices are up three per cent. This is against the minimum support price of ₹2,015 this year.
According to the Consumer Affairs Ministry, retail wheat prices have increased over three per cent and atta prices by about 3.5 per cent in the past month.