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Gujarat millers anticipate high groundnut oil prices


April 1, 2012 - Rajkot

Mill owners and exporters in Rajkot, Gujarat, are expecting the prices of groundnut oil to sky rocket to unprecedented levels.

The exporters said the price rise was inevitable as demand for peanuts from China was increasing.

Growing demand for peanuts in China and European countries has left groundnut oil prices on the boil in the state and prices are likely to rise, as on an average only five oil mills of total 250 in Saurashtra region are functioning due to severe shortage of supply.

Saurashtra Oil Millers Association (SOMA) president Sameer Shah said that with a shortage of groundnut for crushing, the demand has tremendously increased which has further resulted in the increase in its price.

"We already knew that the prices would increase as there was less production and the demand was significantly increasing. This situation was apparent."

He also said that it was difficult to predict the price of the groundnut oil, as it entirely depends on its consumption.

"It is very difficult to say anything about the price of the groundnut as demand at the upper level is less therefore, the prices might increase slowly but is surely to increase. There are still 6 to 7 months for the new crop to come; therefore, the prices of groundnut are likely to increase, we cannot say anything right now."

Shah stated that with the continuous increase in the Chinese demand for the groundnut crop, the prices of groundnut oil would continue to rise in the days to come.

"Due to low production and high export demand, the prices have increased. The demand from the foreign countries will be the same as high quality of groundnuts are produced in Saurashtra."

Last year, 150,000 tonnes of groundnut was exported and this year in just last five months (November -March) the export has increased to 350,000 to 400,000 tonnes.

India produces around 4.7 million metric tonnes of groundnuts, annually.

In India, 80 per cent of the total produce is used for oil extraction, 11 per cent as seed, 8 per cent for direct food uses and 1 per cent is exported.

Groundnut is the 13th most important food crop of the world. It is the world's fourth most important source of edible oil and third most important source of vegetable protein.

ANI

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