India is poised for its highest wheat yield this year at 80.98 million tonnes, a wee bit higher than last year’s all-time high of 80.68 million tonnes, but the country’s overall foodgrain output is set to dip nearly 7 per cent, as the full effects of last year’s drought become clearer.
The government’s third of the four quarterly food production estimates, posted on Wednesday, gave away another surprise: cane crop estimates rose 9.3 per cent more than estimated in February.
However, a patchy 2009 monsoon cut total foodgrain output by 6.9 per cent to 218.19 million tonnes during 2009-10, compared to 234.47 million tonnes in 2008-09.
The projections show that India will continue to face shortages of edible oils and pulses, the biggest contributors to food inflation, which had risen the highest in 11 years to 20 per cent in December 2009.
Output of rapeseed, a key edible oil source, will dip to 6.59 million tonnes compared to February estimates of 7.43 million in February and last year’s production of 7.2 million tones.
India’s pulses production, estimated to be at 14.77 million tones, will drag 14 per cent below its target of 16.50 million tonnes.