India Moves The Goalposts

India's farm minster says that following 'plentiful' rains in August the country's winter wheat area will increase by 15%, producing another bumper crop in 2010.

In the time-honoured style of a politician lying through his back teeth, he then goes on to say that he is 'just waiting for the sowing position of the rabi (winter-sown) crop' before releasing any government-owned wheat stocks onto the domestic market.

'If rabi sowing is smooth...we will sell stocks,' he says.

Winter wheat sowing isn't finished in India until November, which seems to imply that the government won't be selling any wheat stocks for a good few months yet. That's a direct contradiction to what they have been saying for at least a month now.

Domestic supplies are tight with stocks held in private hands dwindling, the people are going hungry whilst the government supposedly have 30-32 MMT of wheat in store.

The only problem the government have is where they are going to store next season's bumper crop, the farm minister cheekily adds. Well, there's an obvious solution to that problem, so why aren't they taking it?

I smell an enormous rat.