Wheat prices in Punjab have been increased by up to Rs. 200 per maund due to subsequent delays on the part of the government in the announcement of the commodity’s release price.
Average wheat prices in Sahiwal and Gujranwala have increased by Rs. 200 per maund in the past week to Rs. 4,480 and Rs. 4,500 per maund respectively while prices in Kasur, D.G Khan have increased by Rs. 175 per maund.
In Central Punjab, Faisalabad, wheat prices are only up by Rs. 100 as its prices have always remained high. Prices in Bahawalpur, Multan, D.G Khan, and Sheikhupura have been reported between Rs. 4,520 to Rs. 4,455 per maund.
Wheat prices in Punjab had remained stable during September and early October but the prices have experienced significant ups and downs amid contrasting news stories about wheat release prices for the flour mills and the Punjab government further delaying the announcement.
Before Mid-October, the average wheat price in Punjab was stable at around Rs. 4,490 – 4,500 per maund but the rumor of the Punjab Government starting to release wheat to flour mills by 15th October wasn’t verified and the media reported that the Government might undercut the market price by announcing the release price at Rs. 4,200.
Amid all this and with declining demand in light of imports, wheat prices across the province dropped to near Rs. 4,200 per maund. Then some news stories that were probably planted to prop up the market forecast the release price to be at Rs. 4,600 per maund and the prices have started to recover since then.
Punjab Food Department sent the summary proposal to the Provincial Finance Ministry for Wheat Release Policy 2023-24 with multiple price options up to Rs. 5,000 per maund more than a week ago but the official announcement has been delayed.
“For past months, rumors have been influencing the wheat market but regardless, wheat prices are expected to go up further by December and January as the quality of imported wheat is not at par with local wheat,” commented a market consultant while talking to ProPakistani
He added that one more factor driving up the prices is the announcement of wheat support prices for the coming season which traders expected to increase and buying is happening in anticipation. The Sindh Government has announced the wheat support price at Rs. 4,000 per maund for the Rabi Season 2023-24.
In related news, wheat sowing has already begun in North Punjab and other rainfed areas and the government has set an ambitious national production target of 32.12 million tons, significantly higher than last year’s bumper production of 28 million tons but the support price for Punjab has yet to be announced as well which plays a huge part in convincing farmers to cultivate the staple grain.
Source: Pro Pakistani