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Govt likely to cancel wheat import tender

The State Trading Corp Ltd is likely to cancel a tender to import 330,000 tonnes of wheat due to high bids received from global trading firms, government officials said on Sunday.

business Updated: Dec 23, 2007 21:39 IST

The State Trading Corp Ltd is likely to cancel a tender to import 330,000 tonnes of wheat due to high bids received from global trading firms, government officials said on Sunday.

"So far it has been deferred as we have not received any communication from neither the food ministry nor the commerce ministry," a senior government official, who did not wish to be identified, told Reuters.

"We may have to cancel it," another official said.

Government-owned State Trading Corp had floated a tender early this month to buy wheat on behalf of the government. The bids were valid until Saturday.

Three international trading firms Cargill Glencore and Toepfer had offered to sell 330,000 tonnes of wheat at sky-high $459-$599 a tonne, reflecting shrinking supplies and a surge in U.S. wheat futures on strong export demand.

In its first imports in six years, India bought 5.5 million tonnes of wheat in 2006 and has tied up contracts to buy 1.8 million tonnes this year. India produced 74.9 million tonnes of wheat in 2007. The country needs around 73 million tonnes annually to feed its more than one billion population.