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Sunflower is one of the superior edible vegetable oil seeds consumed throughout the globe. Deficit monsoon rains in major sunflower growing regions (Karnataka and Maharashtra) influenced a shift to cotton, sugarcane and soybean production, reducing the 2012 kharif season sunflower planted area to 148,000 hectares, down 44,000 hectares from kharif 2011. Over the last five years, sunflower acreage has come down by 600,000 hectares due to recurrent production losses on account of a host of biotic and abiotic factors. Assuming normal growing conditions during the 2012 rabi (winter sown) season, total sunflower area and production for MY 2012/13 are forecast lower at 600,000 hectares and 550,000 ton respectively

The major producers of sunflower are Karnataka (54.86%), Andhra Pradesh (20.83%) and Maharashtra (14.58%). According to the market sources, 70% of the crop is produced in Rabi (November – March) season and the remaining in Kharif (June – September). The major trading centers for sunflower oil are Mumbai, Chennai, and Hyderabad. 

Sowing of major oilseeds fell by 4.4 per cent to 167.2 lakh hectares by August. However, production of major oilseeds is projected to rise marginally by 0.5 per cent to 30.1 million tons in FY 13.  CMIE expects production of rapeseed, mustard and soybean to grow in FY 13. Sowing of soybean has increased by 3.7 per cent to 106.9 lakh hectares by August. Soybean production can rise by 0.2 per cent to 12.3 million tons in FY 13.  However, production of castor and groundnut is projected to fall in FY 13. Groundnut production is projected to dip by 1.8 per cent in FY 13. 

In Karnataka, Chitradurga district has the largest area under sunflower followed by Davanagere.  Market sources have confirmed that farmers are interested in knowing prices that might prevail for sunflower during harvest months of November, December 2012 so that they can take appropriate marketing decisions. The Agricultural Market Intelligence Centre functioning in the University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVK, Bangalore collected and analyzed the modal prices of sunflower that prevailed in Chitradurga market during the last ten years. Also an opinion survey of sunflower traders was conducted. Based on the fundamentals and market survey, it is forecasted that Kharif season sunflower would fetch a modal price around Rs.3800-4000 during harvest. The prices are likely to increase in January by another 3-4 per cent. This forecast prevails for current market sentiments and could vary with changes in the market situation and import of palm oil.




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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.