Grain output may touch 255.36 million tonnes

NEW DELHI: India's grain output in the current crop year is expected to be 255.36 million tonnes (mt), over 5 mt more than previous estimates because of higher production of rice, oilseeds and wheat.

In February, grain production was pegged at 250.14 mt for the 2012-13 crop year that runs from July to June. Because of erratic monsoon rainfall, total production is still lower than the previous year's 259.32 mt.

The government makes several estimates of output. The first advance estimate is based on targets set for the year. The second advance estimate is based on firm data of the kharif crop (June-October) production. The third estimate, which was issued on Friday, includes better data on the winter-sown crop also. The fourth advance estimates of foodgrain production would be released by July. As per the third advance estimate for 2012-13, rice production has been revised to 104.22 mt from 101.80 mt in the earlier estimate.

Wheat output, too, has been pegged higher at 93.62 mt, from 92.30 mt in the second advance estimates released in February this year. Similarly, oilseeds including groundnut,castor, sesamum, niger, mustard, linseed, safflower, sunflower and soyabean production was higher by over 1.25 mt at 307.24 mt.

Cotton production is estimated at a record 33.8 million bales (of 170 kg each), similar to the earlier projection for this year.

In the 2011-12 crop year, rice production stood at 105.31 million tonnes, wheat at 94.88 million tonnes, pulses at 17.09 million tonnes and coarse cereals at 42.04 million tonnes.