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Canada pursues wheat sales to India

Winnipeg (Resource News International) — The Canadian Wheat Board has been pursuing wheat
sales to India despite having a reduced supply of wheat to work
with, according to a spokeswoman with the CWB.

“The CWB sold 50,000 (tonnes) of Canadian wheat to India
in a tender recently,” confirmed Micheline Violi, a
communications co-ordinator for the CWB. Price and shipping
details were not available.

She said the CWB was anticipating further sales into that
market in future tenders.

The CWB sold India one million tonnes of wheat during the

2006-07 season, Violi said.

Previous to the 2006-07 sales to India, the CWB had not sold
wheat to India since 1996-97, when 266,000
tonnes of wheat were purchased.

The amount of wheat Canada can sell to India during 2007-08
will be limited by supply tightness and quality factors, said Glenn
Lennox, a wheat analyst with the market analysis division of
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

“The world is definitely working with tighter wheat supplies
and Canada is no different,” Lennox said.

He said India generally looks for a lower quality milling
grade of wheat, and in normal production years, Canada would have
some of those grades available.

However, it appears that the CWB will be working with a
smaller, but much higher quality wheat crop than normal,” Lennox
said.

Canada’s spring wheat production in 2007-08 will
be down significantly, with Lennox pegging output at 16.775
million tonnes. In 2006-07, Canada’s spring wheat production
totalled 21.919 million tonnes.

Further reducing the chances of Canada selling wheat to

India will be limited supplies as the CWB will be looking to
cover needs with traditional customers before looking elsewhere,
Lennox said.

Lennox estimated that India will only purchase about 200,000
tonnes of Canadian wheat during 2007-08.

An official with the State Trading Corp. Of India indicated
that 1.306 million tonnes of wheat have been imported this year
against an expected five million tonnes.

Violi noted that India, prior to 2006-07, had
been competing against Canada in the wheat export market.

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