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India says not planning to import wheat

MUMBAI, Aug 21 (Reuters) - India has sufficient stocks of wheat and there is no plan to import the grain, the government clarified on Sunday after some media outlets reported New Delhi was planning to import wheat.

Local wheat prices <W-STDIDRI-NCX> jumped to a record 24,453 rupees ($305.97) per tonne on Friday.

That was up nearly 16% from recent lows that followed the government's surprise ban on exports on May 14, ending hopes India could fill the market gap left by missing Ukraine grain.

The rally in local prices has prompted traders to speculate that New Delhi would allow imports to augment supplies, which dwindled after the production was hit by a heatwave.

But Department of Food & Public Distribution in a Tweet said "There is no such plan to import wheat into India. Country has sufficient stocks to meet our domestic requirements and Food Corporation of India has enough stock for public distribution."

India's wheat procurement in 2022 fell 57% from a year ago to 18.8 million tonnes.

Wheat imports into India currently attract a 40% import duty. The overseas buying is not possible until government scraps the import tax, traders said. ($1 = 79.9200 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav; editing by David Evans)

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