Limited carry over stocks and concerns over lower acreage than expected due to intense cold weather may have supported the spice movement at futures market. Coriander acreage in the country is projected at 547421 hectares in the year ended September, according to the data by the Spices Board of India. Castor seed futures for January delivery on National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX) was seen trading with a loss of Rs.5 at Rs.3657 per 100 kgs.
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Castor is a widely used non-edible oilseed in the manufacture of a variety of industries such as cosmetics, lubricants, pharmaceuticals, specialty rubber etc. Castor is cultivated around 30 countries in the world as a commercial crop.
Castor originated in the tropical belt of both India and Africa and is grown especially in arid and semi arid regions. It is cultivated in 30 different countries on commercial scale. India, China, Brazil, USSR, Thailand, Ethiopia and Philippines account for about 88 per cent of the world's production.
Historically, Brazil, China and India have been the key producing countries meeting global requirements. However, in early 90's, Brazilian farmers moved away to more lucrative cash crops, and surge in domestic demand in China made them net importers, leaving India to meet the global demand
Global output of castor oil is estimated to be around 500,000-550,000 ton with India contributing more than 50% of it. Global trade in castor is estimated to be over 300,000 ton per year on an average. The major consuming countries are countries in the European Union, U.S. and Japan. China and India are also emerging fast as major consumers.
As the leading producer and exporter India plays a significant role in global castor oil sector. Indian production ranges between 250,000-350,000 ton per year. Indian castor is credited with 48% oil content out of which 42% could be extracted.
Castor is a Kharif crop. Sowing season of castor in India is July-August and harvesting from December-January. The average Indian consumption of castor oil is 100,000 ton per year. On an average soap makers accounts for 25,000 ton while paint and allied sectors consumes 35,000 ton of the Indian consumption.
Gujarat is the leading producer of castor in the country with nearly 85% of the output followed by Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan. Castor is mainly grown in Mehsana, Banaskantha and Saurashtra/Kutch regions of Gujarat and Nalgonda and Mahboobnagar districts of Andhra Pradesh.
The major castor oil markets in Gujarat are Rajkot, Ahmedabad, Gondal, Gadwal, Bhabar, and in Andhra Pradesh are Jedcherla and Yemignoor.
India exports two grades of castor oil – special grade castor oil and castor oil. Fortunes of the Indian castor are shaped by monsoon, Chinese and Brazilian crop size, comparative price with other vegetable oils and global demand situation. Normally prices tend to show a seasonal variation of 200-350 rupees per 100 kg.
From India castor oil is exported through mainly Kandla port. There is a large scope for improving India's earning from castor by converting the castor oil to various derivatives. Currently, a considerable quantity of the castor oil is also used in adulteration of edible oils like groundnut oil due to price differential.
The castor seed price tends to firm up during the planting period and eases down during the harvesting period. Prices tend to show inter-seasonal variation of almost Rs 200 - Rs 350 per quintal.
Castor seed growers and crushers hoard the commodity before selling in expectation of better prices. Castor oil too can be kept in containers without spoilage for long period.
CastorOil.in ( http://www.castoroil.in/ ) provides comprehensive resources related to castor plant, castor bean, castor oil, castor derivatives & castor-based oleochemicals. In addition to details and resources, CastorOil.in also provides over five hundred web links to the various aspects of the castor crop and castor oil.