Edible oil is Pakistan’s second-biggest single import, which makes local oilseed crops critically important.
Despite last year’s good run, prices have fallen this year, causing lower cultivation and production as farmers moved towards wheat, but even lower production has failed to prop up the market this year.
Mustard prices in Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, Okara, and Chichawatani are reported at Rs. 6,500-6,000 per maund while in regions like Rahim Yar Khan and Layyah, prices stood at Rs. 6,000-6,200.
There are lower than last year’s highs in December, which were above Rs. 7,200-7,500 per maund for some regions.
“November and December are usually the high months for this crop, but the prices have remained low due to strict crackdown on smuggling and decline in International Palm Oil prices during recent weeks,” said a market consultant told ProPakistani.
He added that if the masses and buyers realize the status of lower production, they will enter the market and prices could rise in the next two months, but other than that, the chances of price rise are dim.
CPO Futures have dropped by over 20 percent since the beginning of the year due to increased production of competing vegetable oils and higher inventories in India and China.
Market observers like Fitch Ratings expect the trend to continue in 2024 which can have a spillover effect on the local market in Pakistan.
Source: Pro Pakistani