The farm wing of the RSS, Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS), has alleged the role of big corporate traders — including Adani Wilmar, Jayant Agro Organics and Gokul Overseas — in artificially suppressing prices of castorseed in the current harvesting season at the expense of growers.
“Castorseed is today selling at Rs 3,500-3,600 per quintal in north Gujarat mandis, compared to Rs 4,200-4,300 at this time last year. Prices have fallen especially after a global castor conference organised by the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India in Ahmedabad on February 21, where they made huge crop production estimates for 2014-15”, Maganbhai Patel, president of BKS (Gujarat region) said on Thursday.
According to him, there was a nexus between castor oil exporters and commodity futures traders to bring down prices at harvest-time.
“India accounts for 80 per cent of the world’s production and export of castor oil. Despite this near-monopoly position, our exporters are currently throwing away castor oil at $1,200 per tonne, when realisations can easily be $1,800 and we have exported in 2011-12 at $2,800 per tonne”, claimed Patel.
An industry representative, who did not want to be quoted, refuted BKS’ allegations. “Global prices are down for every commodity from rice, corn and wheat to vegetable oils. How can castor oil be an exception? We are not so powerful to go against world price trends”, he pointed out.