Friday, October 29, 2010



Sowing of mustard in Punjab starts from mid October onwards. It is important for the farmers to know the expected harvest prices and other relevant production and marketing information in order to allocate area under this crop. The Agricultural Market Intelligence Centre (AMIC) gathered and analyzed this information to help the farmers and other stakeholders to take adequate decisions.

Mustard oil is the third most important edible oil produced in the world after Soy oil and Palm oil, said Dr. J.S.Sidhu, Incharge of AMIC adding that the production and consumption of this oil has been growing at the rate of 4.65 and 5 %, respectively over the last one decade. The world production of rapeseed-mustard stands at 62 million tonnes (mt) in 2009 with its oil production is estimated at 20-22 mt. China and Canada are the leading producers of this crop jointly accounting for more than 40% of global production, said he adding that India, Ukraine, Russian Federation and Czech Republic are the other major producers of mustard seed.

Mustard is one of the most important oilseed crops in India and needs fewer inputs as compared to other oilseed crops and contains oil content between 36-44 %. Mustard oil contributes around 35% in total vegetable oil production of the country. Almost all the mustard production is consumed within the country for cooking, making hydrogenated fats (vanaspati) and protein rich oil meal used as livestock feed, expressed Dr. Sidhu. The Central Organisation for Oil Industry and Trade, the apex trade body, estimated the country's mustard seed output at 6.4 mt during 2009-10 as against 6.7 mt last year. Rajasthan is the leading mustard producing state in India contributing about 45 % of total production followed by UP (15%), Madhya Pradesh and Haryana (9% each) and Gujarat and West Bengal (6-7% each). Hapur, Jaipur, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Indore, Alwar, Bharatpur and Sri Ganganagar are the major trading centres for this crop.

In Punjab, the area under rapeseed and mustard crop has declined drastically from about 66 thousand hectares in 2002-03 to about 27 thousands hectares during 2009-10. Out of this the major proportion of the area is concentrated in districts of Ferozepur, Bathinda, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur and Mansa, said Dr. Sidhu. During 2009-10, with an average yield of about 12.95 quintals per hectare its total production in the state was about 35 thousands tonnes. Most of the mustard produce is marketed through the regulated markets during the months of April and May. Traders fix the price based on oil content estimated by evaluation of the weight, color, size and moisture content of seed.

Discussing the price determining factors, Dr. Sidhu said that the price of the mustard is affected by the supply and demand of its oil, international prices of edible oils and the government import policy in respect of edible oils. Price of other domestic and global oil seeds also have significant bearing on mustard seed prices, he said. Government of India had raised the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for 2010 sown mustard by Rs 20 per quintal from Rs 1830 per quintal. The mustard prices which peaked to around Rs 2600 per quintal during marketing season of 2008 had been ruling in the range of Rs 2000 to 2400 per quintal during 2009 and 2010 due to the government duty free edible oils import policy.

Projection of record Kharif oilseeds production due to higher acreage and favorable weather conditions is likely to put downward pressure on mustard prices. At the same time zero import tariffs on edible oils will continue to encourage sufficient imports of palm and other edible oils. According to the available information the area under mustard in Punjab during current year is expected to remain same as that of last year. Based on above information in addition to the analysis of monthly prices of mustard for past twelve years and traders' opinion, the AMIC is of the view that prices are likely to remain stable. Mustard prices are expected to prevail in the range of Rs 2200 to 2400 per quintal during the marketing season 2010-11, provided there is no significant change in the government import export policy on edible oils in coming days, said Dr. Sidhu. Farmers can use this information while taking their mustard sowing and input allocation decisions.

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