NEW DELHI, May 8 (Reuters) - India's May 1 wheat stocks at
government warehouses surged more than 76 percent to 42.7
million tonnes from April, government sources said on Wednesday,
increasing pressure on the world's No. 2 producer to boost
exports and cut down huge stockpiles.
But India's latest attempt to boost wheat exports and cut
its bulging stocks by offering private traders the chance to buy
up to 5 million tonnes direct from warehouses is likely to be
spurned by most traders as they baulk at the costs of
transportation and financing.
New Delhi has also offered 4.5 million tonnes of wheat via
tenders by state traders, of which about 3.6 million tonnes have
been contracted for exports.
New Delhi uses the stocks to distribute cheap grain to its
half a billion poor people and also holds some in inventory as a
buffer for emergencies. The government is trying to expand the
subsidised food progamme but its bill has yet to be
India's rice inventory on May 1 was 34.7 million tonnes
against 35.5 million tonnes in the previous month, the sources
India harvests only one wheat crop a year, with harvests
from March bumping up stocks. The new season rice harvest begins
in October, which are then drawn on for distribution in
government welfare schemes.
(Reporting by Mayank Bhardwaj; Editing by Jo Winterbottom)