A record wheat production is expected in the country for the seventh straight year as cold weather in India has boosted yield prospects. Soil moisture and below-average temperatures in the main wheat-producing states of Punjab and Haryana in the past few weeks have been beneficial for wheat crop. According to an estimate, wheat production may climb to an all time high of 93.9 million metric tons.
The weather in India has been conducive for wheat output in the last few years. Late monsoon showers during September and early October have helped wheat sowing as they keep the soil moisturized. From December to February, the appearance of Western Disturbances also maintains soil moisture to bear better crop yield. Wheat is sown at the start of winter in India and harvested in April and May.
Due to surplus production, export of wheat from India is also likely to increase and it may be more than 5 million tons in the year starting from April. International market is lagging in wheat due to droughts in Australia, Argentina and the US that has reduced crop output. Increase in supply from India may help to partly make up for the potential crop losses in the leading wheat-producing country. According to data from Indian agricultural ministry, exports have surged to 5.2 million tons since a ban on sales was scrapped in September 2011.
Photograph by CIAT