BNC Exclusive - Per Indian Industries Association, Only 1 or 2 railway rakes are available against exporters demand of 50-60 railway rakes per day
By VIRENDRA SINGH RAWAT
LUCKNOW, Apr 14 (The CONNECT) -Wheat exporters from Uttar Pradesh have flagged an acute shortage of railway rakes as well as container ships in sea ports as impeding the export potential of the commodity during the current rabi marketing season.
India is targeting to export more than 10 million tonnes (MT) of wheat during 2022-23 in the backdrop of robust demand in the global market. UP is among the major wheat producers.
UP wheat exporters rue that the shortage of railway rakes in view of the depressing the domestic market price of wheat below the minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 2,015 per quintal (100 kg).
Against the requirement of 50-60 railway rakes per day, only 1-2 rakes are currently available to transport wheat from UP to the different sea ports, the Indian Industries Association (IIA) executive director D S Verma has said.
Besides, the state wheat consignments are also facing the shortage of vessels at the ports to ship the commodity to the different export destinations.
“If the availability of railway rakes and vessels is not augmented urgently, the open market rates of wheat will slide further resulting in a loss proposition to both farmers and traders,” IIA warned.
This season, UP is expecting a bumper harvest of wheat owing to good weather conditions. The UP government has set a target of procuring 6 MT of the staple rabi crop this year. The procurement season has already begun in the state.
Meanwhile, the IIA has apprised the UP agriculture and export promotion ministers of the depressing situation.
Besides, the shipping and railways ministries of the union government have also been petitioned to resolve the matter by increasing the rakes and vessels for facilitating speedy inland and export cargo movement.
The country is looking to benefit from the higher wheat prices in the international market due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, two of the world's major wheat exporters. India is hoping to tap the export destinations and supplement the global wheat market, which is facing supply squeeze owing to the drastic fall in shipments from Russia and Ukraine.