Centre lowers pulses output estimate

The government on Tuesday marginally lowered 2015-16 wheat production estimate by 0.5 million tonnes (mt) to 93.5 mt, and that of pulses by 0.6 mt, as the crippling drought in 2014 and 2015 seems to have had limited impact on final harvest.

The revision in estimate was much lower than what traders had thought. Traders estimated 2015-16 wheat output to be lower than 90 mt and pulses to be around 16 mt. The wheat output this year is much higher than 2014-15 production of 86.53 mt.

Overall foodgrain production in 2015-16 season ended in June is expected to be around 252.2 mt, lower than the targeted 264.1 mt but marginally higher than last year's output of 252.02 mt. According to the fourth advance estimate of the foodgrains production for 2015-16 released on Tuesday, the output of rice, coarse cereals and pulses have fallen while that of wheat has risen compared to the previous year.

Rains in July above 100% of LPA

The India Meteorological Department on Tuesday said rains across the country in July was more than 100 per cent of the long period average for the month at 106.6 per cent. This has happened only for third time in last 10 years.

and was the best monsoon performance in July since 2013.

Production of pulses has been revised downwards to 16.47 mt from 17.06 mt in the third advance estimate released in May.

Pulses output stood at 17.15 million tonnes in the 2014-15 crop year.

Retail prices of pulses have risen sharply due to lower production in last two crop years compared to record 19.25 million tonnes in the 2013-14 crop years. The downward revision may put further pressure on domestic prices.

As per the data, rice output is estimated to decline to 104.32 million tonnes during 2015-16 crop year from 105.48 million tonnes in the previous year. Rice production has been revised upwards from 103.36 million tonnes in the third advance estimate.

Coarse cereals production is estimated to have declined to 37.94 million tonnes in 2015-16 from 42.86 million tonnes in the previous year.

"Despite setback due to deficient rainfall and due to shortage of water in reservoirs, as per the 4th Advance Estimates for 2015-16, the total foodgrains production in the country has been higher than that in the last year," an official statement said.

In non-foodgrains category, production of oilseeds, sugarcane, cotton and jute are estimated to decline during the current 2015-16 crop year.

Oilseeds output is pegged at 25.30 million tonnes against 27.51 million tonnes, while sugarcane output is estimated at 352.16 million tonnes against 362.3 million tonnes.

Cotton output is estimated to decline to 30.14 million bales (of 170 kg each) in 2015-16 from 34.80 million bales last year, while jute output is seen lower at 10.46 million bales (of 180 kg each) from 11.12 million bales in the said period.

India had achieved a record foodgrain production of 265.04 million tonnes in the 2013-14 crop year.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) today said the July rains across the country this year was more than 100 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA) for the month at 106.6 per cent. This, the met department said has happened only for third time in last 10 years and was the best monsoon performance in July since 2013. July is the most crucial month in the four-month southwest monsoon season as it gets the maximum rains during the season and also sets the pace for sowing of kharif crops. A good rains in July ensures that crop coverage is optimum; however, much of final harvest depends on showers in the next two months. The met department on Monday forecast that rains in August and September will be 107 per cent of the LPA, while at the same retained its full year forecast to 106 per cent of the LPA with a model error of plus and minus 4 per cent.

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