USDA raises India 2016-17 wheat crop estimate to 96.5 million tonne.

USDA Foreign Agricultural Services has raised the estimate for India wheat output this year to a record 96.5 million tonne from 95 million tonne. The agency wheat output estimate for India is close to the government projection of 96.64 million tonne. The production estimate for the crop has been raised on hopes of better yields due to conducive weather conditions. Cool temperatures and adequate rainfall during Jan-Mar helped in better yield of the crop. Despite record production of the food grain, the agency expects wheat imports to continue, as domestic price is likely to remain higher compared with international prices. India is likely to import 4 million tonne wheat this year, as against 6 million tonne last year. Imports are likely to remain attractive for flour mills nearer the coast despite the 10% import duty on the food grain imposed in March.