India should be getting better prices for castor oil in world market…

…Or at least that’s what this interesting article from The Hindu newspaper suggests.

The author G Chandrasekhar is certainly one of the few journalists in India clued in to the castor industry for a long, long time. I have seen him share his rich perspectives at some of the key global castor congress seminars, held usually in Ahmedabad. So you could say that his suggestions do carry significant data and research backup.

This is in essence what he says:

“…export prices do not adequately reflect the bargaining strength a near-monopolist can demonstrate, either. The current export rates of around $1300 a tonne free-on-board have the potential to sharply move up to, say, $1,700-1,800 a tonne; and the overseas market can absorb it.”

Now, you might hold an opinion that prices should be as low as possible to spur demand for an important commodity such as castor. At the same time, one cannot deny the logic that India is squandering the opportunity to make a few more $ from its position of strength. It is not as if we are ripping off the rest of world. The rest of the world is making excellent profits from the derivatives they make and sell from castor oil, so we (and our farmers) might as well get some of those profits as well….what do you say?

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