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Mustard and rapeseed (canola) is the third largest vegetable oil traded in the world, next to soyabean and palm oil. A genetically modified variety of rapeseed (Brassica sps.) that was developed by Canadian plant breeders specifically for its nutritional qualities and its low level of saturated fat is known as Canola, which is a short form of “Canadian oil”.


Nevertheless, Brassica species are cultivated since historic times, particularly in Asian countries. According to ancient Indian literature, cultivation of Brassica rapa was practiced since 1500 BC and seed of Brassica juncea was reported to have found in archaeological sites. On the other hand, the Chinese word for rapeseed was first recorded 2500 years ago, and the oldest archaeological discoveries reported to be dated back to 5000 BC.


Rapeseed oil reported to be used as a marine and industrial lubricant during World War II and consequently, the market for rapeseed oil plummeted in the post war period. Production of rapeseed has been rising rather steeply during the past two decades and has outpaced the production of other oilseeds including peanut, cottonseed and sunflower.


Economic Importance


Seed: Rapeseed and mustard is grown for its oil rich seeds. Apart from extracting oil, seeds are also used directly in the preparation of almost all Indian curries particularly in a process called “tadka”


Oil: Well-developed rapeseed seed contains 40 to 44% of edible oil.

Meal: Seed extract after recovering oil is used as a feed.

Recovery on average

Oil to Seeds– 33%

Cake to Seeds– 67%



Climate and Cultivation


Rapeseed and mustard can be cultivated in both tropical as well as temperate climates. Its growth is most vigorous in temperatures between 10°C and 30°C with an optimum temperature of around 20°C. Seed oil formation is optimum at a temperature of 10°C to 15°C. The crop is very sensitive to high temperatures as well as for frost at the time of flowering. Crop growth is healthy at a rainfall of 350-550 mm.


Rapeseed is normally cultivated as a rabi crop in India as it requires relatively cooler temperatures for seed setting and oil formation. Sowing normally starts in the month of November and the crop season spreads up to April.

Major Markets


Spot markets: Sriganganagar, Jaipur, Kota, Alwar, CharkhidadriandDelhi.

Futures markets: Mustard is traded in futures markets mostly in seed form. Major futures exchanges include Hapur, Hissar, Delhi, ACE, ICEX and NCDEX.



External Trade


India doesn’t export or import rapeseed and mustard seed.


Major export destinations: NA


Major import sources: NA
Factors Influencing Prices


  • Crop condition and output expectations: Extent of area sown under the crop, condition of the crop and output expectation.
  • Monitoring of rainfall and weather conditions that could affect the crop output.
  • Domestic demand expectation: Any changes in demand both domestic as well as international markets.
  • Stocksavailable in the market.
  • External demand and supply: Demand supply situation in major import sources.
  • Trade policies: Any change in government policy relating to change in tariffs etc.,