Rajasthan News

Sharp fall in oilseed prices hit farmers in Rajasthan

by RajasthanDirect
Mar 21, 2013

The sharp fall in oilseed prices has hit rapeseed growing farmers, especially in Rajasthan. Taking a cue from palm oil prices in the international market, rapeseed prices in Rajasthan dipped to the minimum support price of Rs 3,000 a quintal from Rs 4,200 that prevailed at the time of sowing.

“The drop in price will discourage farmers from growing oilseeds and they may switch over to other crops in the ensuing kharif season. Our dependence on import of vegetable oil will further increase,” said Vijay Data, President, Solvent Extractors Association.

On a positive note, he said, the Finance Minister has withdrawn the export duty of 10 per cent on de-oiled rice bran, giving relief to the processing units in West Bengal.

Pointing to the Economic Survey concern on rising vegetable oil imports, Data said it is time to frame a price band for edible oils in a manner that harmonises the interests of domestic farmers, processors and consumers through imposition of import duty at an appropriate rate. The duty will also generate revenue, which could be utilised for an oilseeds development programme. Import of edible oil has increased by 22 per cent since the start of this oil year in November. Import duty difference between crude palm oil and refined palm oil is only five per cent. The inverted export duty structure on crude and refined oils created by the Malaysia and Indonesia governments and high inventory at producing centres is pushing supply to India.

“It is high time the import duty on crude and refined oil is increased, to negate their inverted export duty structure. Otherwise, import of RBD palmolein will further increase and make the local refiners sick and force them to close their refineries soon,” he said.

Fresh contract to import soyabean meal, groundnut oilcake and meal, sunflower oilcake and meal, mustard oilcake and meal are not being entered into, given the uncertainty on duty-free imports after March 31. With better soil moisture, SEA expects a larger rabi oilseeds crop of 97.93 lakh tonnes. Total oilseed production is expected to be marginally lower at 256 lakh tonnes compared to 260 lakh tonnes recorded last year.

src: The Hindu Business Line

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