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MUMBAI: India’s rapeseed and mustard output is likely to jump 16% to a record high in 2021/22 on conducive weather and as record high prices prompted farmers to expand area under the winter-sown oilseed, industry officials told Reuters.

A rise in rapeseed production could increase local edible oil supplies and limit India’s imports of palm oil, soyaoil and sunflower oil, which cost the country a record $15.7 billion a year ago.

India’s rapeseed and mustard production could rise above 10 million tonnes from 8.6 million tonnes a year ago as farmers in the northern states are switching to rapeseed from other crops, said B.V. Mehta, executive director of the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA).

Local rapeseed futures hit a record high of 8,850 rupees ($117.87) per 100 kg in October and have risen 38% so far in 2021, prompting farmers in the north-western state of Rajasthan, the biggest producer, to expand area.

Farmers have planted rapeseed and mustard on 7.18 million hectares so far this year, nearly 17% more than the normal area, farm ministry data showed.

The higher area will certainly lift rapeseed production above last year’s level, but the extent of rise would be determined by rainfall and cold weather in the next few months, said Govindbhai Patel, managing director of trading firm G.G. Patel & Nikhil Research Company.

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