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Kharif oilseeds output to touch 131 lt

Our Bureau

Mumbai , Sept. 21

KHARIF oilseeds production in the 2003-04 (November-October) season is estimated to touch a near record level of 131.7 lakh tonne as compared to 84.1 lt produced in previous kharif season.

In the last 10 years, higher kharif production at 132.3 lt was achieved in 1998-99 and the lowest at 84.1 lt in 2002-03.

The substantial increase in production is on account of two factors — good monsoon rains across the oilseed growing areas; last year's oilseed output was impacted on account of inadequate rains.

The Solvent Extractors'Association (SEA) which met to discuss the kharif and rabi prospects for oilseeds crop has estimated a significant increase in the rabi oilseeds production at 104.5 lt in comparison to 60.3 lt output of the last season.

Gujarat, which received good rains, will produce 53 per cent of all-India kharif groundnut crop, Mr Govindbhai G. Patel, Managing Partner, Dipak Enterprise, said.

However, the groundnut crop in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka will be below their normal average size. The overall groundnut crop has been pegged at 57 lt (30.3 lt).

Soyabean output is seen at 58 lt (40 lt). Madhya Pradesh will account for 37lt.

``There will be a substantial increase in Maharashtra crop to 14.5 lt because of the increase in the area under cultivation and improvement in yield,'' Mr Patel said.

Availability of edible oil during 2003-04 kharif season is also seen higher at 23.75 lt against 14.35 lt in the earlier year. Total edible oil production has been estimated at 39.45 lt (28 lt). Groundnut oil output is estimated at 8.75 lt (4.10 lt) and soyabean at 8.75 lt (5.80 lt).

Total availability of edible oil including kharif and rabi crop is 50.70 lt (30.20 lt).

According to Mr Patel, because of the poor oilseeds crop during the2002-03 season imports of edible oil are likely to be around 50-51 lt. Imports were estimated to be much higher at around 55 lt.

The possible reason for imports to be lower than expected is because of a fall in demand, he added.

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