Philippines likely to get Indian wheat

Written by Arun S | Sanjeeb Mukherjee | New Delhi | Updated: Mar 31 2009, 06:04am hrs
Saddled with huge inventories the government is believed to have cleared a proposal to export wheat to Philippines on a government to government basis.

The notification in this regard is expected in a day or two, official sources told FE, adding that it is being done following an urgent request by the Philippines government.

Officials of both the countries are in regular touch to finalise of export and also work on the quantity. Earlier, the government exported some quantities of wheat to African nations and also Afghanistan on a government to government basis.

Lately, it has also shown inclination to ease the stringent export norms imposed in 2006 because of huge inventories and bumper harvest expected in 2009-10. An empowered group of ministers had agreed in-principle to allow export of around 2.0 million tonne of wheat. As per latest data, wheat stocks as on April 1, 2009, is expected to be over 10 million tonne, far above the buffer requirement of 4.0 million tonne.

In February 2007, the government had imposed a ban on wheat exports.

Philippines are one of the countries that rely heavily on imports to meet its wheat demand. The US caters to a major portion of the total milling wheat imported into Philippines. The country, which has privatised wheat imports, is increasingly looking at importing wheat at more affordable prices, including from countries like China and India .

In 2008, the country imported around 3 lakh tonne of feed wheat at $145-235 per tonne.