Unseasonal rain and hailstorms have once again hit the crops across North and West India but the intensity has been on the lower side. Report of marginal damage is received from localised pockets in cereals, oilseeds and pulses. The main states affected by the rains & hailstorms are Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. As per the recent assessments by various agencies wheat crop has been affected in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Apart from wheat, slight losses have also been seen in RM Seed in the states of Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana. Reports of loss in Chana is reported from Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
In my first estimate (First Rabi Crop Estimates for 2015-16 – Dated: 19th December 2015) had already lowered the crop size for major crops over 2015-16, Owing to deficient monsoon (14 per cent on National level) and delayed sowing of Rabi crops as the kharif harvest was delayed. The situation of increased moisture stress in wheat fields in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh got relief after light showers in 1st and 2nd Week of March and the crop situation has improved. Accessing the new improved scenario, I have positively revised my wheat estimate by 8.40 per cent to 83.34 million MT which, still below the last year’s estimate by 3.57 per cent. Rabi Maize total production is set to decline further by 13.92 per cent over last estimate to 4.92 million MT. The barley production in Rajasthan and other parts of the country is set to decline by 25.00 per cent over last estimate to 1.29 million MT. Overall, the total Rabi Coarse Cereals production is likely to decline by 9.47 per cent over last year to 9.99 million MT.
In the pulses sector, the Chana (Chickpea) is expected to be most affected by the lack of residual soil moisture in major growing areas and the recent hailstorms in several pockets of Rajasthan. I expect the production of Chana to decline by 23.24 per cent to 6.24 million MT over last estimate. Overall, the total Rabi Pulses production is likely to decline by 14.55 per cent over last year to 9.89 million MT.
The oil seed sector is likely to see an improvement in production by 3.72 per cent to 8.66 million MT keeping the total rabi oil seed supply at the same levels as last year.
Based on the above reports and feedback from the Industry / Traders I have revised my Rabi crop estimates for upcoming season as: