The average price of wheat in the Food Corporation of India (FCI) e-auction on Wednesday ruled flat even though the offtake increased to 96 per cent from 94 per cent the previous week, which indicates demand will remain robust until the next crop starts arriving around mid-March. So far, the government has sold 8.004 million tonnes (mt), since it started selling wheat from June 28 to augment the open market availability.

Of the 5 lakh tonnes (lt) offered on Wednesday, as much as 4.78 lt were sold, Food Ministry sources said. The government has increased the offer quantity by 50,000 tonnes from the current round of auction.

The average selling price of wheat was  ₹2,259.16/quintal on Wednesday against ₹2,255.35 in the previous week. It was ₹2,172.94 on December 13.

Reserve price

The government has kept the reserve price of wheat in the auction at about₹2,129/quintal, which is much below the economic cost of the grain which is now ₹2,703.

In the current round, the average selling price in the eastern region at ₹2,305 was more than the minimum support price of ₹2,275 (for next season) whereas in other regions prices were between ₹2,17 and Rs 2,265.

In Karnataka, there was a significant reduction in highest bidding price from ₹2,750 last week to ₹2,450 on Wednesday, industry sources said. In many other States such as Gujarat and Maharashtra, too, the highest price witnessed a decline in the current round of auction from last week.

The highest bidding price was ₹2,550 in West Bengal, which was same as in the previous round of auction whereas in Bihar it dipped to ₹2,480 from₹2,550. In Uttar Pradesh it was ₹2,555, in Maharashtra ₹2,400 and in Gujarat ₹2,525.