Food Corporation of India (FCI) sold 5.39 lakh tonnes (lt) of wheat worth Rs 1,185 crore in the fifth round of e-auction under the Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS). But, the offtake in Madhya Pradesh, where the new crop has started arriving in mandis, is only 10 per cent, indicating that there could be a fall in market rates in the state, after the trade’s lukewarm response at Rs 2,125-2,150/quintal .
On the other hand, there was an in the all-India weighted average selling price has increased by about Rs 4/quintal to Rs 2,197.91/quintal in the fifth round from the previous round, which many experts said was due to traders offering higher prices in states where supply was nearly dry before the government auction.
The all-India weighted average selling price in the fourth round of e-auction was Rs 2,193.82/quintal, Rs 2,172.08/quintal in the third round, Rs 2,338.01/quintal in the second round and Rs 2,474/quintal in the first round.
“Though the overall offer in the fifth round was raised to 11.87 lt from 11.57 lt in the fourth, a maximum of 7.48 lt was allotted to Madhya Pradesh and Punjab. In Tamil Nadu, the offtake was 100 per cent of the 28,500 tonnes offered on sale, while in 11 other states, the offtake was 90-100 per cent,” said a flour miller.
In Madhya Pradesh, the state to receive the highest quantity of 4,47,522 tons in the fifth round of auction, only 45,234 tons were sold. In Punjab, 1,54,528 tonnes of the 3,00,244 tonnes offered was sold (51.5 per cent offtake), Uttar Pradesh 13,500 tonnes of 15,000 tonnes (90 per cent), and in Rajasthan 30,300 tonnes of 50,000 tonnes (60.6 per cent) was sold.
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Lots of 100 tonnes-499 tonnes had the maximum demand in the fifth round of e-auction, followed by lots of 500 tonnes-999 tonnes, and 50 tonnes-100 tonnes.
The first auction saw 9.13 lt of wheat being sold out amid speculation regarding availability. However, only 3.85 lt was sold in the second round, as traders awaited a cut in the reserve price, which was announced in the third round of e-auction, in which 5.07 lt was sold. In the fourth round, 5.40 lt of wheat was sold by FCI.
After Thursday’s auction, the cumulative wheat sold under OMSS has risen to 28.86 lt, against the overall allocation of 45 lt. Also, 19.51 lt was lifted until March 8. The sale has cooled down the price of wheat and atta across the country, which is likely to stabilize with future tenders for open sale of wheat under OMSS, a Food Ministry official said. The next e-auction would be held on March 15.