October 23, 2008


India winter-sown rapeseed area likely up 10 to 20 percent on-year



India's rapeseed area in the winter planting season which began Oct. 1 is expected to rise by 10 to 20 percent from last year's area of around 6 million hectares, industry officials said Wednesday (October 22).


"Rapeseed prices in the domestic markets are currently ruling higher than other winter-sown crops such as wheat, sugar cane and potato. Hence, we expect the area under the crop to rise by 10 to 20 percent this year," said Vijay Data, managing director of Vijay Solvex, a major edible oil producing company headquartered in the main rapeseed growing state of Rajasthan.


He said major increases will be seen in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh and some rise is likely in Rajasthan.


Rapeseed, the main oilseed grown in the country in the winter season, is sown in October-November and harvested in February-March.


Data said good moisture in the soil and low temperatures will boost production of the oilseed by 20 percent this year.


"Although rapeseed prices have declined in the last couple of months, they are still trading higher than their minimum support price. This, along with good subsoil moisture, has led to indications that the area will rise by around 10 percent this year," said D.P. Khandelia, director of Khandelia Oil and General Mills and past president of the Solvent Extractors Association.


Rapeseed is currently quoting at INR26,000-INR28,000 a tonne in the local markets, higher than the minimum support price of INR18,000/tonne.


Last month, Govindlal Patel, managing partner of Dipak Enterprise and industry expert, had also projected a rise of 10 percent in the rapeseed area because of good late rains in the major producing states of Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

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