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India could sell more wheat in open market to calm prices

The Indian government could sell more wheat on the open market to control prices that have reached their highest in nearly eight months, the country’s food secretary said on Monday.

India, the world’s second-biggest producer and consumer of wheat, has been trying to contain food prices before the start of peak festival season next month.

“There’s no shortage of wheat in the country and all options are open for the government to control prices,” Food Secretary Sanjeev Chopra said on the sidelines of a wheat millers meeting.

The government could sell more wheat to bulk consumers, such as flour millers and biscuit makers, to stabilise prices, he said.

India this month reduced the limit on the amount of wheat stocks that wholesalers and large retailers are allowed to hold to only 2,000 metric tons of wheat, down from the previous limit of 3,000 tons.

Wheat prices have increased by nearly 4% in September as supplies dwindle in the face of strong demand for the coming festivals, traders said.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Mayank Bhardwaj, Writing by Rajendra Jadhav, Editing by Sudipto Ganguly and David Goodman)

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