PEC is one of the largest exporters of wheat from India, and during 2001-07, had exported more than 5 million metric tonnes (MT). The Government of India had banned exports of wheat for a four year period. Since the lifting of the ban in 2011, PEC has already exported more than 2.5 million MT during 2012-2014. These exports were carried out from the central pool/FCI stocks of the Government of India out of an overall approximate 6 million MT exported by the three PSUs, namely MMTC, STC and PEC. The exports have been carried out from Kandla port on the West coast, and Krishnapatnam, Karaikal, Vizag and Gangavaram ports on the East coast.
IMPORT: PEC provides its assistance to the strategic procurement carried out by the government, and also facilitates trade in the private sector by extending trade financing facilities. The thrust, however, has always been on ensuring quality imports that adhere strictly to the various statutory requirements in India, so far as non-GMO and phytosanitary requirements are concerned. While Australia is the most preferred origin for imports, Ukraine and France have also previously exported to India. India has also imported from the EU and South America in the past.
Wheat is one of the most important and one of the largest cultivated cereal crops in the world, and counts as a staple food grain for a majority of countries. It is also one of the most traded agri-commodities. In India, it holds a revered position in agriculture, and with annual yields increasing to almost 96 million metric tonnes (MT) in 2013-14 (July-June), India is also one of the largest producers of wheat in the world, and had accounted for approximately 14% share in the total world wheat production in 2013-14. The largest wheat producing states are Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar and Gujarat. Wheat is a rabi crop, and is mainly harvested from March onwards. However, due to its susceptibility to the vagaries of weather, the wheat crop in India faces a unique problem of cyclical periods of huge surplus crop sizes followed by drastic falls in production, and thus, India assumes the role of a net exporter alternated by imports.
EXPORT: India has already built a formidable reputation as an exporter of quality wheat, comparable to the US SRW variety and the Black Sea milling varieties, at value prices. Indian wheat that is exported, normally, has moisture not exceeding 12%, minimum protein of 11.5%, gluten at minimum 26%, and a falling number of 400 seconds minimum, which allows it to be a strong competitor to wheat from other origins. Due to favorable logistical advantages, India is now a preferred source for exports to such destinations as Bangladesh, Middle-East Asian countries, South-East Asian countries, and African countries such as Ethiopia.