Castor Oil

Castor Oil

Castor is cultivated for the commercial importance of its oil. India is the world leader in castor seed and oil production and dominates the international castor oil trade. The Indian variety of castor has 48 % oil content of which 42% can be extracted, while the cake retains the rest. India's castor production fluctuates between 600000 to 900000 tons a year. In 2003-04, India's castor production was 800000 tons.

Gujarat accounts for 86% of India's castor seed production followed by Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan. Castor is mainly grown in Mehsana, Banaskantha and Saurashtra/Kutch regions of Gujarat and Nalgonda and Mahboobnagar districts of Andhra Pradesh.

Castor is a Kharif crop. The sowing season of castor is from July to October and the harvesting season is from October to April. India annually exports around 200000 - 240000 tons of commercial castor oil, 50,000 - 60,000 tons of castor seed extractions and 15,000 - 20,000 tons of castor seed. While 90 % of castor seed and oil in India is produced in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, the domestic consumption is dispersed all across the country. Castor seed and oil are also exported to various countries, especially European Union, US and Japan.

The world castor seed production fluctuates between 12 to 1800000 tons. India is major producer with 64 % share, followed by China and Brazil with 23 % and 7 % share respectively.
Market Influencing Factors
Variations in castor seed domestic acreage based on yield and price realization, Crop development based on monsoon progress in key growing regions.

Chinese and Brazilian crop size Comparative price with other vegetable oils in the domestic market, Upcountry demand of castor oil from the major cities, Export demand of castor oil from US, Europe and Japan. The castor seed price tends to firm up during the planting period and eases down during the harvesting period. Prices tend to show inter-seasonal variation of almost Rs. 200 – Rs. 350 per 100 kg. Castor seed growers and crushers hoard the commodity before selling in expectation of better prices. Castor oil too can be kept in containers without spoilage for long period.
Specification of Castor Oil
FFA: 2.0% max
Moisture & Insoluble Impurities: 1% max
Color in 1" Lovibond Scale: 6.5 units Max
Specific Gravity at 30 degrees: 1.4620 - 1.4630
Iodine Value: 189 - 195 units
Refractive Index at 40 degrees: 87- 96 units
Saponification Value: 0.9 Max
Acetyl Value: Acceptable between 4 and 7
Packing: - In bulk
- In 200 Kgs new mild steel drums (80 such drums to be stuffed into one 20 ft. container; total 16 MT per container)
- ISO Tanks
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