NEW DEHLI, INDIA — For the fifth year in a row India is forecast to produce another wheat bumper crop in the 2021-22 marketing year based on favorable weather, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The country is projected to produce 107 million tonnes, a near-record, in the 2020-21 marketing year, just shy of last year’s 107.9-million-tonne wheat harvest.
The USDA anticipates India’s wheat consumption for the 2021-22 marketing year to be 97 million tonnes, up slightly from 96.6 million tonnes in the previous marketing year. India’s import and export activities are erratic and based on domestic production of the commodity. The USDA expects high domestic wheat production will compensate the need for imports in the 2021-22 marketing year.
Rice production in the 2020-21 marketing year reached record yields from above-normal 2020 monsoon rains. The rains also lowered irrigation costs boosting high profit margins. The government is increasing its minimum support price (MSP) program to encourage farmers to produce rice over other crops in the 2021-22 marketing year. The country is expected produce a total of 118 million tonnes of rice in the 2021-22 marketing year.
India’s rice consumption jumped 8% in the 2020-21 marketing year to 103.1 million tonnes due to the government releasing 22 million tonnes of “free rice” through a COVID-19 relief program April – November 2020. A forecasted surplus in domestic supplies is expected to encourage rice consumption, pushing the country’s rice consumption in the 2021-22 marketing year to 104 million tonnes.
According to the USDA, India became the world’s largest rice exporter in 2011 when it removed its export ban on coarse rice. India is forecast to export 14 million tonnes of rice in the 2021-22 marketing year, 10 million tonnes of rough rice and 4 million tonnes of basmati rice.