USDA attache sees India's 2021/22 wheat crop at 105 million tons

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FILE PHOTO: Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in India

(Reuters) - Following are selected highlights from a report issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service post in New Delhi:

"FAS New Delhi (post) is lowering its India MY 2021/2022 (April-March) wheat production forecast to 105 million metric tons (MMT) compared to the pre-harvest forecast of 107 MMT. Post is lowering the forecast number due to early harvest reports of lower-than-expected yields in the country's central and eastern states. On April 16, 2021, the Indian Metrological Department released its first long-range forecast for the 2021 southwest monsoonal season (June-September), forecasting normal rainfall. On April 23, 2021, the Indian government announced that it will begin providing, anew, free food grains to 800 million National Food Security Act (NFSA) beneficiaries (62 percent of the population). Distribution of free grains commences in May and extends through June 2021, assisting beneficiaries experiencing economic hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak's second wave. Some 8 million metric tons of food grains are required to cover the two months of new distribution."

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(Reporting by Julie Ingwersen in Chicago)