• By Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Global AgInvesting Media

India’s Rapeseed Sowing Delayed by Scorching Heat

Rapeseed sowing in India’s top producing regions has been delayed by weeks due to scorching heat, limiting the expansion of acreage despite prices that are nearing record highs.

“In Rajasthan, the temperature was hovering around 37 degrees Celsius,” said Govindbhai Patel, who has been trading edible oils for more than four decades. For successful planting, temperatures will need to fall below 30 degrees Celsius.

The delays could likely lead to India, the world’s top edible oil importing country, to increase import volumes of canola, soybean, and sunflower oils while it helps to support high rapeseed prices that have been represented by a 33% increase in rapeseed and mustard seed contracts over the past six months.

The area of rapeseed acreage in India is estimated to remain steady with last year’s acreage of 6.5 million hectares, but estimating rapeseed oil output is challenging as soil moisture has been depleted and the final effects of El Niño remain unknown.

Rapeseed stocks in India have fallen after last year’s disappointing harvest which fell by 23% from a year before to 5 million tons – a situation that put India in the position of doubling imports of canola oil in November to September to 339,800 tons.

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