Mustard Seed Markets
Agriculture ministry’s report on the mustard seed market presents a gloomy picture of the oilseed market this season. The beginning has already been marred by the slow start of the sowing of the oilseed in this Rabi season. During last year 72 lakh hectares of land were used for oilseed cultivation. It does not seem that we will be able to reach this figure this year. Till December 14, 2007 only 64.2 lakh hectares of land were brought under the oilseed cultivation and since the sowing season is going to come to an end it will be a Herculean task to reach anywhere near the previous year’s target. The lackadaisical approach of the government has worsened the situation. And if we look at the mood of the government then in no way they are showing any sign of taking any corrective measures.
Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) estimation shows that the output for the year 2008 is going to be lower than the year 2007. The figure put forward by SEA estimates that it is possible that this year the loss may be in the range of 1 million tonne to 6 million tonne. Some observes feel that it is too early too predict a murky picture for the mustard seed market. These observes feel that the last year’s stock still lies with National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (Nafed). So in case the situation becomes demanding the government can use the stocked pile.
In order to support the farmers, the government has been procuring the mustard seeds from them since last three years. The stocks have been piling and today it is estimated that about 3.5 million tones of mustard seeds are lying with Nafed. But the traders are not just relying on this. They are focusing on future and feels that such attitude of the government will make the future uncertain. True in many respects as today India’s commodity market is gaining momentum so the traders need to be always prepared with adequate stocks to fulfill the global demand.
At present the mustard seed market is stable in the country. Important mandis of the country like Delhi, Hapur and Sirsa is seeing continuous flow of the mustard seed. These mandis daily have an inflow of 13-14 tonnes of mustard seeds. Seeing the stability of the mustard seed market the traders too have not hiked the price. At present the price per quintal is Rs 463-Rs 485.
It is felt that the Indian mustard seed market is not at par with the global market. At present the global inventories are at its all time low. This is the appropriate time to capture the market. The market at present is bullish. The traders should not let this opportunity to go. The government too should provide the traders all kinds of assistance. Back home in the country the recent rain in Rajasthan has raised the hope for a good oilseed crop. The traders have become bullish but the farmers’ morale is high.