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Description | Overview | History | Cultivation pattern Mustard/Rape producing countries | Indian rape/mustard market | Major trading centers | Contract specifications

Mustard seeds are yellowish colored, small seeds that are used as a spice in many countries. These seeds are obtained from bush like mustard plant that belongs to the genus Brassica that also include vegetables like cabbage and turnips.


Rapeseed belongs to the plant of the same genus and also known as canola in many countries. In old English, rapum is a name of the present day turnip and the name rapeseed is derived from rapum only.


Mustard seed and rapeseed have great importance in many countries as spices. But, these seeds have important by-products too. Rapeseeds and mustard seeds are sources of rapeseed/mustard seed oil and oilcake. Yellow colored oil is obtained by extraction process of the crushed rape/mustard seeds. In the market, rape oil is not distinguished from mustard oil as both of these come from the same species and possess same properties. During the production of oil, pressed cakes of the seeds are left over that have some amount of oil content. These cakes are distilled to make oil cakes, which serves as an animal feed. In the production process, around 37% oil is yielded and the rest is oil cake.

Mustard and rapeseed production is on a rising. World’s total production of rapeseed hovers around 40 million tones. Mustard seed production reached at a figure of 36.54 million tones in 2001-2002. European Union leads the list of rapeseed producing countries with around 13 million tons of production. The production of rapeseed oil is around 14 million tons.

As the leading producing countries rapeseed oil usually produce it to meet their own domestic demand, that’s why the world trade in this oil is very low as compared to the other edible oils. Canada is the largest exporter of the mustard and rapeseed seeds and seed oil. Australia follows Canada in the production of seeds. The major seed importing countries are Japan and Mexico and US leads the list of mustard and rapeseed oil importing countries.

Like production, consumption too has been increasing rapidly. There are countries like China, India, Canada, Japan, Mexico, US and European Union that consume mustard and rapeseed oil cake extensively.


The origin of mustard is not known to the world but it is said that it grew wild in the northern hemisphere. It is also said that this plant got spread through birds, winds and biological dispersals. The ancient Greeks first started using mustard to add flavor to their food and also as drugs. Mustard was not extensively used until it was brought to Gaul by the Romans and after that it started gaining importance. French monasteries started the trading of mustard preparations.

With time, many regulations were made regarding the production of mustard and it started gaining popularity between the masses too. It became the primary spice of the early Europeans. When the spices started coming from America and Far East, mustard’s popularity registered a downfall. The house of Maille observed this downfall and the market for mustard was revived again. Mustard started gaining back its importance in Europe and especially in France. The city of Dijon is known as the mustard power of the world since then.

Cultivation pattern

Mustard/Rapeseed cultivation is done widely throughout the world. It is basically a winter crop and it requires a temperate climate to prosper. The planting season or the sowing period in India is during the Rabi season i.e. October to November. The crop starts flowering in the months of November, December, January and February. The harvesting period is from February to March. It needs a right proportion of rainfall that is provided by the monsoon during the sowing seasons of the crop. The rapeseed/mustard crop is actually acts as a very good cover of soil in winters.

Rape/Mustard producing countries
  • China
  • Canada
  • India
  • Germany
  • France
  • Australia
  • Pakistan
  • Poland
  • Japan
  • Australia
  • Bangladesh
  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • Mexico
  • Austria
  • Nepal
  • Russia
  • Bhutan
  • Finland
  • Myanmar
  • United Kingdom
European Union tops the production chart with around 13 million tons of production every year. The maximum area covered under mustard/rape cultivation is by China, which is also the second largest producer. Third position is held by India. Regarding the production of rape/mustard oil, China holds the first place followed by Germany, Canada and India.


Production of Rape/Mustard in India

  • Rajasthan
  • Uttar Pradesh
  • Haryana
  • Punjab
  • Gujarat
  • Madhya Pradesh
  • Jammu and Kashmir
  • West Bengal
  • Punjab
  • Assam
  • Bihar
  • Himachal Pradesh
  • Orissa

  Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh produce the major share of rape/mustard contributing to over 50% of the total Indian produce, which stands at an average of 5 million tons. It also has the maximum area under cultivation for this crop. In Rajasthan, the production of this crop is highly monsoon oriented. The districts in Rajasthan that produce mustard/rape are Jaipur, Bharatpur, Alwar and Ganganagar.

  It is the major Rabi crop that accounts for almost 65% of the total Rabi produce. Productivity of this crop has also increased over a period. The total area under cultivation in India for this crop has declined over a period of time.

  The production of rape/mustard oil cake in India was 3.4 million tons and of rape/mustard oil was around 1.5 million tons in 2003-04.

Indian rape/mustard market

Rape/Mustard has been an important crop to India for a long period of time. At an average India produces around 5 million tones of rape/mustard annually. It stands at the 3rd position in the list of rape/mustard producing countries contributing around 11% of the world’s total production. Also it is the third largest producer of mustard/ rape oil in the world. Rajasthan is the leading mustard/rape producing state in India.

  Mustard oil is consumed wholly in the domestic market. The demand for the consumption of mustard/rape seed comes mainly from eastern and northern areas of the country. The arrival of this crop in the markets is in its peak period during March to May.  The major centers of consumption of its oil are Kolkata, Bihar, Jharkhand and the northeastern areas like Assam, Tripura, Sikkim etc. Two forms of mustard oil are traded in the Indian market namely Kacchi Ghani and Pakki Ghani (expeller oil). This industry constitutes the small-scale sector that markets the oil in loose form to about 80% and the rest contribution is made by the organized sector.

  India does not imports or exports rape/mustard seeds. It was not into imports of rape/mustard oil also but now it has started importing it due to a fall in production of oil and oil seeds. The oil is not exported, as it does not match with the international quality standards. India is an exporter of mustard/rape oil cake and exports around 4 lakh tons of cake annually. The countries that import rape/mustard oil cake from India are: -

  • Bangladesh

  • China

  • Italy

  • Japan

  • Malaysia

  • Thailand

  Market Influencing Factors

  • Prices and demand-supply pattern of other edible oils in the country and abroad
  • Monsoon in the country
  • Pests and diseases and other environmental factors
  • Speculation and Hoarding
  • Consumption of the by-products
  • Production fluctuations
Major trading centers of rape/mustard
  • Winnipeg commodity exchange (Canada)
  • Marche A Terme International de France (Paris Futures Exchange) (France)
  • China
  • Australia
  • United Kingdom
  • Netherland

  In India, mustard/rape and its by products are traded at

  • Alwar (Rajasthan)

  • Bharatpur (Rajasthan)

  • Kota (Rajasthan)

  • Jaipur (Rajasthan)

  • Ganganagar (Rajasthan)

  • Bikaner (Rajasthan)

  • Delhi

  • Hapur (Uttar Pradesh)

  • Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh)

  • Kolkata (West Bengal)

  • Burdwan (West Bengal)

  • Mumbai (Maharashtra)

  • Indore (Madhya Pradesh)

  Also, Rape/Mustard is traded in Indian commodity exchanges namely, National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange ltd, Multi Commodity Exchange of India ltd and National Multi Commodity Exchange of India ltd and National Board of Trade, Indore


Contract specifications of mustard seed/rapeseed and its by-products in various commodity exchanges

Future contract specifications of mustard seed/rapeseed in MCX,NMCE, NCDEX and NBOT

Future contract specifications of mustard/rape oil in MCX, NMCE and NBOT

Future contract specifications of mustard/rape oil cake in NMCE and NBOT

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