Low mustard prices due to bumper harvest and imports

The mandi prices of mustard, a crucial oil seed, are currently below the minimum support price (MSP) due to projections of a bumper harvest and increased edible oil imports, according to traders and farmers. The main hub of the nation’s trade, Bhagalpur, Rajasthan, saw mandi prices of mustard seed on Monday hovering around an average price of Rs 5100/quintal, against a minimum support price of Rs 5650/quintal for the 2023–2024 season, even though harvesting is already in full gear in the major producing states.

The reduced import duty structure for oils derived from palm, soybean, and sunflower has been extended by the government until March 31, 2025.Since February 2023, the retail inflation for the oil and fat category has been negative due to the significant import of edible oil, while global prices have decreased. Cooking oil saw a 14.96% year-over-year decrease in inflation in January 2024.

According to the agriculture ministry’s most current second advance estimates of crop output, mustard seed production was expected to reach a record 12.69 in the July–June 2022–2023 crop year. The amount of mustard sown area in 2021–2022 was 9.1 MH. Over the past five years, the average area planted with mustard has been 7.3 mh. Presently, Rajasthan accounts for 40% of the nation’s mustard seed production, followed by Madhya Pradesh (14%), Uttar Pradesh (9%), and Haryana (7%).

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