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There was a shift to groundnut from cotton by the Gujarat farmers this year as cotton was un-remunerative, but the sluggish monsoon is likely to affect the crop. Though there has been an increase in the area under groundnut, the national scenario is disappointing with a fall in the acreage, casting shadow on crop’s prospects. The decline is mainly in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, where the deficit rainfall has hit sowing. Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu account for close to 90 per cent of the total groundnut production. Groundnut has been increasingly used for direct consumption as table nut as it is the cheapest among all the nuts, but there is no commensurate increase in their production. India produced 66.4 lakh tonnes of groundnut in 2014-15. Added to the decline in the kharif area, rains are yet to strike for taking up rabi sowings, further export demand is expected to arise in November and December months of the year. Kharif area of 2015-16 stood at 34.72 lakh ha against 35. 73 lakh ha in 2014-15. In Andhra Pradesh kharif area was down at 5.47 ha compared 7.02 lakh in 2014-15. With rabi sowings to commence it is of immense importance to know price trends at rabi harvest. To arrive at the prices likely to prevail at rabi harvest the Agricultural Market Intelligence Centre (AMIC) of S.V.Agricultural College, Tirupati attempted econometric analysis of modal prices of Kurnool market. The results coupled with traders’ survey indicated that prices are likely to be around Rs. 4800 to 5000/qtl at rabi harvest. This holds good given the present market sentiments.


            In the current oil year (November, 2014- October, 2015), the country is expected to import 15.7 million tonnes of oil. Edible oil imports are rising by about 7-8 lakh tonnes a year on rising domestic demand.  The per capita consumption is increasing by 3-4 per cent every year. Sunflower is the fourth most important crop in the country.  The average yield of sunflower seeds in India is about 650 – 750 kg/ha, which is approximately half of the world’s average.  This may be attributed to lower percentage of area under irrigation, poor quality seeds, vulnerability to drought and output loss due to pests and diseases.  Sunflower oil being healthier one, it commands premium over other edible oils especially palmoil.  India imports sunflower edible oil from Ukraine, Russia and Argentina.

            In recent years there is a fall in the area under sunflower in Andhra Pradesh.  It is presumed that area in rabi 2015-16 may be closer to the area sown in the corresponding season of 2014-15.  Now the interest is about the prices that are likely to prevail during January and February, 2016.

            To arrive at the prices during harvest time, the Agricultural Market Intelligence Centre (AMIC) functioning in the Dept. of Agricultural Economics, S.V.Agricultural College, Tirupati analysed the modal prices of sunflower for 15 years from Kurnool market.  The results of the analysis, market survey and present market sentiments indicated that the sunflower prices are likely to be in the range of Rs. 3600 – 3800 per quintal during January to February 2016, i.e. rabi harvest period. Farmers are requested to take there sowing decision accordingly.


                      The estimate of the Ministry of Agriculture on rabi (2015-16) acreage of maize suggests that the area may go up by about 1.14 lakhs ha. over the last year. Sluggish rainfall in Maharastra, Andhra Pradesh and Telagana is expected to affect the kharif production. Besides the stocks of last year almost touching the bottom line, it gave impetus to price rise. Undoubtedly there has been an increase in the area of maize in Madhya Pradesh and Maharastra. Globally China’s imports are likely to decrease given the present state of its economy. With rabi sowings of maize on cards it is of interest to know the likely   price line at the time of rabi harvest. Towards this objective the Agricultural Market Intelligence Center (AMIC) of S.V. Agricultural College, made a forecast of maize prices using the modal prices of Nizamabad market. Given the present market sentiments backed up by market survey in the light of analytical results the prices are likely to be in the range of Rs.1350-Rs.1400/-at harvest period.


India is the largest producer of bengalgram followed by Pakistan, Turkey and Iran. It produces around 6-8 million tonnes and contributes around 70 per cent of the total worlds’ production. Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan are the major growing states. The country imports around 3-4 lakh tonnes of bengalgram annually from Canada, Iran and Myanmar. Australian chickpea production in 2014-15 slumped by 31 per cent; Canada’s crop fell by 12 per cent, while the US harvest dropped by 21 per cent. Bengalgram production in India is pegged at 71.7 lakh tonnes in Fourth Advanced Estimates released in August 2015, by the Department of Agriculture andCo-operation, Govt of India. According to trade sources, production may not have reached 50 lakh tonnes. Earlier Indian Pulses and Grains Association’s (IPGA) pulses survey estimated bengalgram production of about 55.6 lakh tonnes, lower by 15 per cent compared to last year. India imported about 4.9 lakh tonnes of bengalgram in 2014-15 an increase of 51.8 per cent over the previous year. According to trade sources the prices in the key exporting countries such as Australia and Canada increased in anticipation of strong import demand. Its prices are likely to firm up in the coming months on short supply and expensive imports. This time around the worst monsoon in three decades is threatening not just the kharif yield of pulses but also likely to impact the soil moisture for sowing the upcoming rabi bengalgram. With rabi sowings to commence shortly the Agricultural Market Intelligence Centre (AMIC) of S.V.Agricultural College, Tirupati has forecasted the prices of bengalgram that are likely to prevail at  rabi harvest in February and March 2016 taking the modal prices of Kurnool market for the past 10 years . Given the present scenario and market sentiments the prices are likely to be around Rs.3800-4100/qtl and the farmers are advised to take sowing decision accordingly. 

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Please note that this is the opinion of the author and is Not Certified by ICAR or any of its authorised agents.