Rainfall during the current monsoon has had an impact on the planting decision during the current kharif season with deficient precipitation affecting paddy in east and north-east states, said Rajni Panicker Lamba, VP of Philip Capital (India) Pvt Ltd.

Improvement in rainfall in these regions through September should help prevent yield loss, she said, addressing a webinar on “Kharif crop prospects and impact”, jointly organised by IMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry and NCDEX IPFT. “It looks unlikely that the farmers will plant more kharif rice this late into the monsoon season. As a result, the rice crop acreage deficit is likely to remain 6 per cent versus the last season,” she said.

Arun Yadav, Senior Vice-President of NCDEX, said 86 per cent of the rice-growing area in Uttar Pradesh and 72 per cent of the area in Bihar is irrigated. As these areas have better irrigation facilities, the impact of deficit rainfall can be reduced with irrigation, he said.

G Chandrashekhar, Economic Advisor-IMC and Director IMC-ERTF, said the area under rice is down by 2.2 million hectares from the last year and it has been worsened by deficient rainfall in the key rice-growing states such as Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and Bihar.

Referring to the coarse cereals and pulses production, Panicker said it could be marginally affected if above-normal rainfall continues over major parts of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh in Central India.

Mentioning the 5-6 per cent increase in the area under cotton cultivation, she said the production is expected to increase because of this. “Risk to our view, however, remains if the monsoon does not withdraw in time and lingers through October and November as seen in the past couple of seasons,” she said.

On oilseeds production, she said it could see an increase of around 1 mt largely due to soyabean crop. However, a lot will again depend on the rainfall September and October, she said.

Chandrashekhar said the area under pulses and oilseeds cultivation had declined by one million hectares each.

On the suspension of futures trading in some commodities, Yadav said the exchange is getting representations from stakeholders, including FPOs and traders, to resume the futures trading.

“Now when the new harvest is coming and the crop is expected to be nearly that of last year, FPOs and farmers feel that futures would have helped them in the price discovery,” he said, adding that both the suppliers and buyers are impacted by the non-availability of futures trading.

Ashish Barwale, Chairman of the Agri-Business Committee of IMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, delivered the welcome address.