The second quarterly report on agricultural outlook covering the period July–September 2012 has been prepared as the monsoon season of the year is drawing to a close. This year, rainfall deficiency in the first two months of the season was substantially below normal for the country as a whole but more intensely so for the northwestern and southern regions. As the season progressed, rainfall situation improved and at the end of September the overall deficiency is eight per cent below normal.

October 2012

The first Advance Estimates (AE) put out by the Ministry of Agriculture place kharif foodgrain production at 117.18 million tonnes, about 10 million tonnes below the production in kharif 2011–12. Our own assessment presented in this report is slightly higher at 120 million tonnes as compared to the first AE.While production of soybean is estimated to be close to higher in 2012–13 than in the previous year, sugarcane production is expected to decline in the current year. In the case of three fruits and vegetables considered in this report, production of onion is expected to decrease as compared to the harvest in 2011–12 and remain stagnant in the case of banana and register a lower than trend growth in the case of potato. Milk production is also expected to register slower growth in the current year as compared to the trend growth rate. The global scenario for the food commodities has also been affected by the adverse weather conditions. The estimates by FAO, USDA and other international agencies indicate decline in the world production of wheat, maize and coarse grains in 2012–13 as compared to the previous year. In the case of two commodities imported in large quantities by India, edible oils and pulses, the supply situation is expected to remain better or the same as in the previous year. India’s exports of rice, maize and wheat have been significant in 2011–12. During the period September 2011–12 to August 2012, the grain exports have exceeded 16.5 million tonnes including over 9.5 million tonnes of rice exports. The sugar sector presents a scenario where international prices are softening while domestic prices are under upward pressure. The availability of stocks of sugar augments the expected decline in production this year. This report is an attempt to provide a comprehensive review of the production and price conditions for the major food commodities for the country.We have expanded the contents of the report in this quarter with a review of the pattern of prices at the wholesale and retail level, in the wholesale markets of the consuming and production centres and retail prices in the four metros for selected commodities to point to the need for improved marketing efficiency to benefit both consumer and the producer of food. We hope that the report would be useful to the various stakeholders in the management of India’s food economy. Any feedback on the report would be greatly appreciated to make these reports more useful.:

Click here to Download pdf