Sowing of wheat, the main winter crop in India, has dropped over the past week as compared to the same period last year due to a delay in sugarcane harvesting, and is likely to pick up pace after Diwali.According to data from the Department of Agriculture, the area planted with wheat during the week ending on November 3 was around 1.8 million hectares, which is around 13 per cent less than the area covered during the same period last year. In total, wheat is sown in around 31 million hectares.Traders in UP said the initial wheat sowing is down this year due to a delay in sugarcane harvesting. The farmers are waiting to clear their fields of the kharif crop.

The prices of wheat, which touched a high of around ‘2,900 per quintal in late October, have fallen slightly due to aggressive stock liquidation by the government.According to experts, the wheat prices would continue to remain high for some time.Wheat prices have risen by almost 35 per cent from their lows in April, touching a high of ‘2900 per quintal on October 26.”The meteoric rise in wheat prices has been somewhat curbed in the last few days and prices have shed ‘130 a quintal or declined by 4.5 per cent mainly due to aggressive government intervention to control inflation,” said Tarun Satsangi, specialist- Global Commodity Research and Trade at

He said in order to cool down soaring wheat prices, the government has decided to increase the supply of wheat through the Open Market Sales Scheme (OMSS) to 0.3 million tonnes per week as against the earlier 0.2 million tonnes a week, a move that has contributed to bringing down the prices.”But, overall, wheat prices might maintain their bullish trend till at least December or mid-January, and after that, all eyes will be on how the new crop shapes up,” Satsangi added.The government expects wheat sowing to improve this year due to price rise, a record increase in minimum support price and conducive weather.

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