India’s rapeseed, mustard production seen up 10 percent – USDA

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India is expected to produce 6.4 million metric tons (MMT) of rapeseed and mustard in the 2015-16 marketing year (MY), up 10 percent over last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in its latest report.

It said the crop will come from 6.45 million hectares. An incremental rise in planted area from some non-traditional eastern, northeastern, and northern states will partially compensate for a net decline in planted area from Rajasthan, it added.

According to the report, total oilmeal exports in the 2015-16 marketing year will decline to 1.6 MMT, but vegetable oil imports will rise upwards of 15.4 MMT.

This rapeseed and mustard production estimate is 15 percent below the previous estimate, but still 10 percent above last year, the reports said, adding that average yields are expected to be slightly higher than levels achieved in MY 2013/14. The rapeseed and mustard standing crop suffered significant damage last year and therefore was not used for comparison.

In general, planting for all major rabi (winter) crops such as oilseeds, wheat, and pulses was delayed due to the early withdrawal of 2015 southwest monsoon (June-September) and the subsequent lack of residual soil moisture. The situation compounded following a prolonged dry spell, above-normal temperatures, and a general lack of precipitation. As a result, almost fifty percent of total rapeseed and mustard crop planting extended into mid-November, the reports said.

It said the 2015-16 winter season has been warmer than usual, excepting for a few cold spells in January, with no major incidents of pest and disease infestation. Industry sources report that the production outlook will be relatively normal. The preceding statement assumes normal weather conditions through March (harvesting period) and remains valid until the date of publication of this report.

Lower Peanut Planting in Traditional States Will Trim Total Production by 13 Percent

 Based on the latest available planting data, Post also revises lower the MY 2015/16 peanut production from 5.5 MMT to 4.8 MMT indicating lower winter planting of peanuts in traditional states such as Telangana, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.

MY 2015/16 Oil Meals Export Forecast Revised Down to 1.6 MMT

Indian oilmeal exports during the first four months of MY 2015/16 were down 92 percent to 61,300 MT, the lowest level in the last five years. Indian oilmeals (soybean and rapeseed) are out-priced on the international market due to high local oilseed prices, and lower realization from oil and meal. Additionally, competitive meal exports from other origins and a glut of low-cost vegetable oil imports (mostly palm) have dis-incentivized local oil millers, which are either running at very low capacity or have closed their operations.

Consequently, the report revised down the total oilmeal export forecast for MY 2015/16 by 250,000 metric tons to 1.6 MMT.

MY 2015/16 Vegetable Oil Imports Will Reach Historic High of 15.4 MMT

Vegetable oil imports grew 23 percent to 5.7 MMT in first four months of MY 2015/16. Total imports surged due to large inflow of palm and soybean oil. Indian importers were encouraged to stock vegetable oil inventory due to lower than anticipated domestic oilseed production and availability of low-cost palm oil from Indonesia and Malaysia. As per current import trends, total vegetable oil imports in MY 2015/16 will increase by upwards of 15.4 MMT, up 10 percent over last year.

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