Castor plant (Ricinus communis) is grown in arid and semi-arid regions. It is cultivated in 30 different countries on a commercial scale, of which India, China, Brazil, Russia, Thailand, Ethiopia, and Philippines are major castor seed growing countries which accounts for about 88% of the world’s production. In India it is a Kharif crop, sowing in July-August and arrivals from December onwards till March.

Gujarat is the chief producing state, having a share of 86% of domestic production, followed by Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan. Bag packed of castor seed contains 75kg by weight.

Uses of Castor Seed

  • Castor Oil a derivative of Castor Seed is used in manufacturing of soaps, lubricants, hydraulic brake fluids, paints, coatings, inks, cold resistant plastics, waxes and polishes, nylon, pharmaceuticals, dyes and perfumes etc.

  • It is used either in crude form or in the refined hydrogenated form.

  • Sebacic acid & 12 HAS, important derivatives of Castor Seed have varied applications in China.

Factors influencing the price

  • Production & Acreage Variations

  • Monsoon & Level of rainfall

  • Seasonal price variations

  • Carry-over stocks

  • Export demand of castor oil & new uses of the oil

  • Demand in importing countries and domestic demand

  • Shifting cropping patterns.