Post expects India’s rapeseed-mustard production will reach 7.3 MMT in MY 2013/14, an increase of 200,000 MT from the previous estimate. This also marks an increase of roughly 500,000 MT over last year. This revision is due to increased area planted and to favorable weather conditions throughout the rabi (winter planted/spring harvested) season. Over 50 percent of India’s rapeseed-mustard area is not irrigated and these areas are expected to see robust yield increases as a result of timely winter rains.

Favorable weather and planting conditions in October and November encouraged farmers to plant an additional 400,000 hectares in Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh, totaling 7.1 million hectares, a six percent increase over last year. The prolonged 2013 southwest monsoon and resulting higher reservoirs levels provided adequate soil moisture for crop growth. Late season heavy rains and thunderstorms in February over major rapeseed-mustard production regions are unlikely to affect yields, as most crops have reached maturity. However, Post sources note that some late-planted crops could be negatively impacted by late rains. although late planted crop acreage is expected to be relatively smaller this year. Incidents of insect and pest damage were reported to be below the annual average