How Russia-Ukraine War Is Impacting Punjab’s Wheat Sales

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A total of 20.6 lakh tonnes of wheat arrived at Punjab mandis till April 13 (File)

Chandigarh:

Private players in the farm sector have bought one of the biggest amounts of wheat from Punjab this year, breaking a record, in what could be seen as an effect of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. These two nations, locked in a war that has dragged on for over a month, are the biggest wheat exporters in the international market. And this is where Punjab comes in given the current situation, say experts.

Punjab is far from any port, and so crop purchases by multinational food export firms are seen as logistically difficult. Yet, this hasn’t stopped them from paying more than the minimum support price, or MSP, to Punjab’s wheat farmers due to the war in Ukraine.

Wheat purchases by private players reached nearly 1 lakh tonnes within two weeks of the current rabi, or winter crop, marketing season that opened on April 1. This accounted for 6 per cent of all wheat purchases in Punjab till Wednesday.

A total of 20.6 lakh tonnes of wheat arrived at Punjab mandis till April 13. The government agencies such as Pungrain, Punsup, Punjab State Warehousing Corporation, Markfed and the Food Corporation of India have bought 16.8 lakh tonnes.

Of this, private players have bought 99,637 tonnes. They offered Rs 2,050 per quintal, higher than the MSP of Rs 2,015.

The total wheat purchases have also broken a 15-year record, a Punjab government spokesperson said in a statement. “The total purchase of wheat touched 17 lakh tonnes on April 13, which was the highest purchase on this date in the last 15 years,” the official said.

The Punjab government has paid Rs 828 crore into the bank accounts of farmers for wheat purchases, he said. Another round of Rs 871 crore has been cleared and will be credited into the accounts of farmers, he added.

“An all-time record private purchase of 1 lakh tonnes of wheat has already happened, which is way higher than the corresponding purchases on the same date in earlier years. Private purchases are picking up with every passing day,” he said.

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