Agriculture Current Affair 13 March 2021

Area under jute to go up in Bengal

Maize farmers making a comeback on higher MSP and good prices for the fibre

Jute farmers in West Bengal, who had shifted to maize in 2020-21 because of the remunerative price it fetched in the previous season, are now making a come-back to the fibre as prices have surged by more than 50 per cent over the last few months.

Raw jute prices, which were ruling at around ₹4,750 a quintal at the beginning of this season in July 2020, is currently hovering around ₹7,100, a surge of almost 50 per cent. This has encouraged farmers to go in for a higher sowing of the crop during the current season. Jute sowing usually starts by the end of March and continues up to the end of May.

Cotton exports seen hitting 60 lakh bales on competitive rates

India’s cotton exports are likely to hit 60 lakh bales (each of 170 kg) for the current season (October2020-September 2021) on cost competitiveness.

Trade body Cotton Association of India (CAI) has noted that so far about 60 per cent or 36 lakh bales has been shipped since the start of the season.

This is primarily due to Indian cotton’s price competitiveness in the international market. Indian cotton quoted at around ₹44,000-45,500 per candy (each of 356 kg of processed cotton) during the past couple of months. At this rate, the Indian exporters could offer a 10-per cent discount to the international prices, which hovered at around 85.60 cents per pound.

Edible oil imports down 27% in February

Overall vegoil imports declined by 3.7% during November-February 2020-21

Excessive import of crude palm oil (CPO) in the previous two months and higher prices of soft oils such as sunflower seem to have impacted the import of edible oils.

The import of edible oils came down by 26.89 per cent in February 2021 and 3.85 per cent in the first five months of the oil year 2020-21.

According to the data compiled by Solvent Extractors’ Association (SEA) of India, the country imported 796,568 tonnes of edible oil in February 2021 against 1,089,661 tonnes in the corresponding period of 2020; and 4,454,588 tonnes during November-February 2020-21 against 4,282,693 tonnes in November-February of 2019-20.

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