The impact will be felt at the retail end from next month when prices are expected to come down to Rs 160-170 per litre from Rs 200. Mustard oil prices have been pinching consumers for more than a year now.
“Prices of mustard oil have come down since harvesting started from middle of February in certain pockets of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh,” Vijay Data, managing director of edible oil manufacturing firm Vijay Solvex, told ET. “Prices will further fall when the arrival picks up in March.”
Mustard oil prices had risen past the price of imported soyabean oil for the first time in 2021. It was because rabi mustard production was less, which had pushed up mustard oil prices.
However, falling mustard oil prices will have very little impact on other cooking oils like sunflower, soyabean and palm oil. “All these oils are imported and, therefore, their prices depend on international price movement,” explained BV Mehta, executive director of the Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEA).
Rabi oilseed production, which includes groundnut, rapeseed and mustard, is expected to reach 133.32 million tonnes in the current year, which is 9.06% higher than last year’s 122.24 million tonnes. The production of rapeseed and mustard–the main rabi oilseed crops–is expected to reach a record 114.59 million tonnes–12.24% higher than last year’s 102.10 million tonnes.
Mustard acreage has increased to 9 million hectares from 7.2 million hectares last year.