Rabi Plant­ing up 6%, Chana may Sta­bilise

The Economic Times - - Finance & Commodities - Mad­hvi.Sally@ times­group.com

New Delhi: Rabi crop plant­ing is 6% higher than last year, of­fi­cial data show, sig­nalling a bumper har­vest, mod­er­ate prices and lesser de­pen­dence on im­ports if the weather re­mains favourable.

Farm­ers have planted wheat in 318 lakh hectares, 7% higher than last year, which can raise out­put close to a record, of­fi­cials said. Cargill In­dia chair­man Si­raj Chaudhry said higher plant­ing shows the sit­u­a­tion is re­turn­ing to nor­mal af­ter a good mon­soon.

“De­pen­dence on im­ports of pulses and wheat was trig­gered due to fail­ure of plant­ing and crop loss due to drought. That should not hap­pen this year,” he said.

He said it was es­sen­tial to en­sure that farm­ers do not suf­fer if prices fall. Area un­der pulses has risen 11%.

“If the weather is con­ducive, prices of chana will sta­bilise. Cur­rent whole­sale price of chana in Delhi mar­ket is .₹ 60 a kg while the gov­ern­ment fixed price is .₹ 40 a kg,” said Rakesh Jain of Ra­jd­hani pulses.Area un­der oilseeds, largely mus­tard, has in­creased 6%, which is good news for the con­sumers.

“Veg­etable oil im­ports will fall by 0.5 mil­lion tonne to 14 mil­lion tonnes as rabi plant­ing in­creases due to good wa­ter avail­abil­ity,” said BV Me­hta, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor at Sol­vent Ex­trac­tors’ As­so­ci­a­tion of In­dia, which rep­re­sents cook­ing oil com­pa­nies. Wa­ter reser­voirs have also main­tained healthy lev­els, help­ing farm­ers.

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