The Solvent Extractors’ Association (SEA) of India feels that acreage under oilseeds may witness a massive rebound during Kharif.

In a letter to the members of SEA of India on Monday, Atul Chaturvedi, President of SEA of India, said that IMD has forecast a normal monsoon (96 to 104 per cent of LPA) and expected to touch Kerala by May 31.

Stating that this would be the third consecutive year of normal monsoon, he said: “With monsoon likely to be normal and farmers having received very good prices for oilseed, we feel acreage under oilseed may witness a massive rebound during Kharif. Coupled with the new found enthusiasm among farmers, the Government has also launched the much-delayed National Mission on Oilseeds. All these developments augur well for the oilseed sector and would go a long way in working towards Aatmanirbharta.”

He hoped that the national mission is adequately funded to make this a game-changing initiative. Referring to the increase in the prices of edible oils at the international level, he said customs duty collections have skyrocketed. “Part of that new bounty should be utilized for oilseed development in the country,” he said.

The unprecedented bull run in edible oil prices witnessed in the last few months is now showing signs of fatigue, both nationally and internationally. He said it would be interesting to see whether this upward rally has run its course, or it is just a lull before the upward climb restarts.

Stating that the Government is worried as the inflation is crossing the comfort zone of RBI and policymakers, he said: “We can expect some serious action in the coming days to cool the prices and give comfort to the consumers in these trying times.”

He said the association would strongly oppose any plans to reintroduce the Essential Commodities Act to rein in prices, as this move has the potential of disturbing the supply chain of edible oils and lead to massive disruption.

“This socialist era Act should be confined to pages of history as it has harmed the orderly development of our agricultural markets. We sincerely hope the Government desists from using this tool as it will be counter-productive and do more harm than good,” he added.

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