India, the world’s second-largest wheat grower, will harvest a near-record crop this year, expanding domestic inventories and widening a global grain glut.
The crop may total 95.8 million metric tons in 2014-15, compared with an all-time high of 95.9 million tons a year earlier, the Agriculture Ministry said in an e-mailed statement. Rice production will drop 3.4 percent to 103.04 million tons, the ministry said. Total grain harvest, including corn and coarse cereals, will fall to 257.07 million tons from 265.6 million tons in 2013-14, it said.
Planting of crops from rice to soybeans and lentils was delayed last year as about 90 percent of India received below normal monsoon rainfall in June. Food grain production is forecast to exceed the average in the past five years by 8.15 million tons this year though monsoon rainfall was 12 percent below average for the full season, the ministry said.
Total world grain production, excluding rice, will probably advance to a record 2.002 billion tons from 2 billion tons in 2013-14, the the International Grains Council said Jan. 22. Stockpiles may climb more than 7 percent to 432 million tons, the highest since the mid 1980s, it said.
Production of oilseeds including soybeans and rapeseed may fall to 29.8 million tons from 32.9 million tons, the ministry said. Sugar cane production is seen at 354.95 million tons, compared with 350 million tons, while the cotton crop is seen at 35.2 million bales of 170 kilograms each (375 pounds), compared with 36.6 million bales in 2013-14, it said.
An estimated 833 million people out of the 1.2 billion population in India depend on agriculture for their livelihood and the sector accounts for 14 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product.