FCI move to sell excess grain gets tepid response

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Delhi | Published: April 13, 2015 1:12:19 AM

The Food Corporation of India’s (FCI) move to sell excess rice and wheat stock in the open market through bulk purchases...

The Food Corporation of India’s (FCI) move to sell excess rice and wheat stock in the open market through bulk purchases has received a lukewarm response from traders and private purchasers.

In the first weekly auction for rice under the Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS) last week, bids for only 150 tonne were received by FCI while the corporation aims to sell around 2 million tonne in the market during 2015-16.

Sources told FE that FCI’s attempt to sell rice at around Rs 2,300 per quintal, apart from local taxes, is more than the prevailing market price. “We expect bids for more quantity from traders in the next few weeks,” an official said, adding there was absence of demand.

“Rice price has been set keeping in mind the minimum support price (MSP) to rule out recycling of rice procured by the FCI and state agencies,” an official said. The grain is being to sold to private purchasers at around Rs 2,340 per quintal for grade A quality.

On April 1, FCI has rice stocks of 23.7 million tonne — as per buffer stock norms, the corporation should hold around 13.5 million tonne rice.

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