Deficient rainfall in more than 35 districts across Madhya Pradesh has dampened production expectations and hence firmed up prices of a number of kharif crops in the futures market.
The situation is especially dire in the Malwa region of western Madhya Pradesh, which has been experiencing a dry spell for the past three weeks.
“In the Malwa region, about 2 lakh hectare is under severe moisture stress and the crop in this area is virtually lost,” Soybean Processors Association of India (SOPA) said.
The state is a major producer of soybean and pulses such as chana, and with rain playing truant over the past few weeks, both chana and soybean have firmed up in the futures market. The prices, however, cooled a little on Friday due to profit booking.
Almost 80% sowing of soybean was completed during the first spell of monsoon in mid-June, but the crop risks dying away if rain eludes the area any longer, and the clock is ticking.
“The crop sown in this spell is currently under moisture stress, but will still revive if rain occurs within the next three to four days. Otherwise, the yield in this area will be adversely affected,” SOPA said.
While soybean prices have been ruling high due to the demand-supply gap, in the case of chana, the price rise has been more spectacular—prices shot up from `3,000 to `4,600 per quintal in a matter of months.
The trade body Indian Pulses and Grains Association’s (IPGA) pulses survey has estimated production of about 5.56 million tonnes of chana in India for 2014-15, down almost 15% from last year’s 6.51 million tonnes.
On Friday, chana futures for August delivery closed at Rs 4,594 per quintal, while soybean futures for August delivery closed at Rs 3,482 per quintal.