India's rapeseed output may fall 21% year-over-year to 5.5 million tonnes in the crop year that began Oct. 1, as rain misses the largest growing region, industry group says

LOS ANGELES , December 29, 2011 () – India’s rapeseed production may fall up to 21% to 5.5 million tonnes in the crop year that began Oct. 1, down from 7 million tonnes last year, as the biggest growing region misses winter rains, crimping crop sowing, according to Vijay Data, vice president of the Solvent Extractors Association of India, Bloomberg reported Dec. 29.

Lower output coupled with increasing domestic demand may increase India’s vegetable oil purchases to more than 9 million tonnes this year, up from 8.67 million tonnes a year ago, Data said.

Losses in Malaysian palm oil prices may be pared by India’s purchase increases.

India imports nearly 50% of its edible oil and is the largest purchaser of palm oil from top producers Indonesia and Malaysia.

Rapeseed plantings totaled 6.38 million hectares (15.8 million acres) as of Dec. 23, down from 6.78 million hectares last year, the farm ministry said.

Overall rapeseed plantings is down 4%-5% year-over-year as the country didn’t get rain in the final quarter of this year, making late sowing impossible in Rajasthan sate, Data said.

India’s rapeseed meal exports may be less than 1 million tonnes this year, down from 1.2 million tonnes last year, according to Data.

The primary source for this article is Bloomberg, New York, New York, on Dec. 29, 2011.

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