Mustard seed prices in Jaipur, Rajasthan, rose marginally as demand from crushing plants picked up following a sharp decline in prices over the last few trading days. The rise in demand was also because of fear of a liquidity crunch due to a two-day bank strike starting. In Jaipur, mustard seed was sold for 4,135-4,140 rupees per 100 kg, 5-10 rupees higher. across India were pegged steady at 125,000 bags (1 bag = 85 kg). On NCDEX, the January mustard seed contract was at 3,961 rupees per 100 kg, up 0.7% from the previous close. Demand, however, is likely to remain subdued in coming days as stockists are awaiting the arrival of the rabi crop, expected to start later this month.
Acreage of mustard crop across the country was at 6.64 mln ha as of previous day, up 2.2% on year. The acreage was higher than the five-year average of 6.13 mln ha for the entire season. The acreage in Rajasthan, the top producer, was at 2.3 mln ha. up 11.7% from a year ago. Area under the crop also rose in Assam, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal. Sowing of the crop is at its fag end at present. Agricultural scientists said yields tend to take a hit if the crop is sown after November. Mustard, which accounts for a fourth of India’s overall oilseed production, is sown during Oct-Nov and harvested from March.