India’s Wheat imports are set to surge as lower plantings and poor rain threaten output in the world’s biggest grower after China.
Imports may total 3.5 million metric tons in the year from April 1, according to the survey by Bloomberg. That compares with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s estimate of 2.5 million tons for 2017-18.
The area under Wheat, India’s biggest winter-sown food grain crop, was estimated at 30.1 million hectares (74 million acres) by Feb. 2, compared with 31.8 million hectares a year earlier, according to the farm ministry. Harvesting generally begins in March.
Output is seen falling to a three-year low of 92 million tons in 2017-18 from 98.4 million tons estimated by the government for 2016-17.
“As of now, weather has not been very conducive in some main wheat growing areas,” said a senior official of Agromet division of India Meteorological Department.
“If weather turns normal after Feb. 15, then there won’t be any adverse impact on the crop,” he said.