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Atta-boy! Flour price to fall further

New Delhi, March 26
Retail prices of wheat flour, that have eased by Rs 2 per kg in the past 15 days, are likely to fall further by Re 1 per kg in the next one month with the increase in wheat supply in the domestic market, traders said.

“The retail prices of atta (flour) depend on wheat prices, which fluctuate on the basis of supply,” leading food product manufacturer Rajdhani group’s director Rakesh Jain told PTI, adding that prices could come down by Rs 100 per quintal by next month.

“Wheat prices, which are ruling at Rs 1,050 per quintal in Delhi today could dip to Rs 950 per quintal by April depending on supply,” he said.

Echoing similar views, another leading wheatflour manufacturer Shakti Bhog’s director Sidharth Kumar said: “The prices have already come down in the past three months.” Kumar said his company had launched an offer with 10 kg atta pack instead of reducing the price line which is sold at Rs 150 per bag in Delhi. On the other hand, Jain said Rajdhani brand had reduced the price selling in the range of Rs 135-160 per 10 kg bag at retail outlets.

Roller Flour Millers Federation of India secretary Veena Sharma said the wheat prices were unlikely to dip below the Rs 980 per quintal level.

The retail prices of wheat flour (non-packaged) would ease to Rs 12 per kg from the current Rs 13 per kg in April, she said.

Jain said the increase in the support price for wheat with bonus announcements would not increase the prices of the foodgrains in the near future as supply would be more from April 10 after the rabi harvest of the crop commences.

Currently, a pack of 10 kg wheatflour is sold in the range of Rs 135-160 in Delhi while loose wheatflour is sold at nearly Rs 130 per 10 kg. However, at other places in north India, the retail prices of the commodity are hovering at around Rs 150 per 10 kg.

The rising prices of essential commodities including wheat flour, which touched a high of Rs 16-17 a kg one month back, have become a political issue at the Centre.

Meanwhile, wheat futures have increased by up to 6 per cent in the last ten days following the announcement of Rs 100 per quintal bonus over and above the minimum support price.

The April delivery of wheat at leading agri-commodity exchange NCDEX today jumped by 6 per cent to Rs 1,024 per quintal compared to Rs 966 per quintal on March 16 when the bonus was announced in Parliament.

The May, June and July contracts at NCDEX also increased in the range of Rs 4-25 per quintal in the past 10 days of futures trading.

Interestingly, futures market indicates the prices of wheat will go up from July by which the harvest of the new crop would be over. — PTI

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