Wheat flour prices at record high
Wheat flour prices for the month of April 2022 were at a record high of Rs. 32.38 per kg, which is the “highest since January 2010”
According to a report in the Indian Express, wheat flour prices for the month of April 2022 were at a record high of Rs. 32.38 per kg, which is the “highest since January 2010”, due to an increase in demand outside the country for Indian wheat but reduced production.
According to IE, the increased price of diesel is also a factor for the record-high prices of wheat flour, along with increased temperatures and heatwaves that have struck the country early this year.
Not just that, according to data by the State Civil Supplies Department to the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, the average retail price for May 7 was Rs. 32.78 per kg, which IE reported was 9.15% more than a year ago, with the price touching Rs. 59 per kg in Port Blair, Rs. 49 per kg in Mumbai, Rs. 34 per kg in Chennai, Rs. 29 per kg in Kolkata, Rs. 27 per kg in Delhi, and Rs. 22 per kg in Purulia.
Just since the beginning of this year, the average retail price has increased by 5.81%. Wheat’s retail inflation also reached 7.77% in March this year, the highest in 5 years, while that of bakery bread reached 8.39% in March 2022.
Even though the government set an MSP of Rs. 2015 per quintal, private buyers have been paying much more to secure wheat amidst increased demand. IE reported, “As per Food Ministry estimates, wheat procurement during the current rabi marketing season is likely to be 195 lakh tonnes, significantly below than the government’s initial procurement target of 444 lakh tonnes and last year’s actual procurement of 433 lakh tonnes. As per information available on the FCI portal, 156.92 lakh tonnes of wheat had been procured until April 28.”
According to data by the Food ministry, there were 190 lakh tonnes of wheat stock at the start of this financial year, with different amounts being bifurcated for distribution under different schemes. Around 11 lakh tonnes of wheat stocks were exported in April, out of the 40 lakh tonnes that have been set aside for export.
However, the government has “begun to rework its wheat math by revising the states’ allocations under the PMGKAY” due to lesser procurement than was expected.