Maize & Soybean Market Driving Factors & Price Outlook 2021

CLFMA of India in association with AGCON (subsidiary of NCML) organized a webinar on Maize and Soybean outlook to discuss the Maize production estimate for rabi 2021, and Soybean and Maize outlook for kharif 2021 on 9th July. Below is the brief of discussion.
Neeraj Srivastava, Chairman, CLFMA of India on Maize industry

  • Maize production has increased from 10 MMT in the 90’s to 27 MMT in recent years.
  • Due to increased demand, since the last two years India became a net importer.
  • Indian poultry industry, employing more than 3 million small and medium scale farmers, requires 25-26 MMT poultry feed which uses 12.8-13 MMT of Maize which is poised to reach 16 MMT by 2025.
  • Indian dairy sector uses ~45 MMT of maize including fodder and silage usage.
  • Starch industry uses 5 MMT which is expected to reach ~8 MMT by 2025.
  • Government intent to replace at least 20% of petroleum with ethanol by 2025 might bring another challenge to the feed industry.

Nalin Rawal, CEO, NCML AGCON on Maize and Soybean outlook


  • Maize acreages are lower by current Rabi season by 4.2% & production of Maize during the current Rabi season is lower by 9.5% in comparison to Rabi 2019-20.
  • Rainfall activity is subdued during the second fortnight of June resulting in lower sown acreages.
  • Soybean acreages are 42% lower in comparison to last year during the same time period, however under normal rains, total acreages are expected to be higher by 10-15% in comparison to last year.
  • Maize sowed ahead by 16% vis-à-vis last year as on date however planting is expected to be lower by 5-10% during Kharif.


  • Poultry industry is adversely affected by the rates of soybean.
  • Better crops can be expected if monsoon conditions remain in favor.
  • Industry opting for alternate proteins like cotton DOC, Groundnut DOC etc.
  • Demand is expected to remain subdued for the next 3 months for soy DOC.

Suresh Akkineni, Assistant AVP, Commodity Research, NCML AGCON on Global Soybean

  • Global soybean end stock 2021-22 season is 4.45 MMT (as per USA, Brazilian, Argentina and Chinese front).
  • Global Soymeal end stock 2021-22 shall increase marginally by 0.11 MMT.
  • Soybean prices are likely to be subdued around Rs 8000 levels and ease lower towards Rs 6500-6000 levels.

Sreedhar Nandam, Head Research & Consulting, NCML AGCON on Global Maize

  • Initially, the global production was estimated to be 1180 MMT which presently is estimated at 1125 MMT.
  • 63 MMT downward revision in production estimates primarily due to La-Niña in the previous year.
  • Ending stocks for global corn 281 MMT in 2020-21.
  • High probability of La-Niña resurfacing in November 2021 and lower corn production is expected in the US and Argentina.
  • 40% of the US corn crop is exposed to drought.
  • Game changers in corn trade may include push of green fuel mandates, export tax increase, COVID impact, Asian Swine Flu.
  • Global demand to grow by 4% while opening stocks to decline by 17%.
  • Maize acreages lower by 4.2% and production in the current rabi crop is lower by 9.5%.
  • In 2019-20, the corn demand from Indian feed industry was 16.5 MMT which is expected to be 17.3 MMT in 2021-22.
  • As per the present ethanol policy, in 2020-21, 332 Cr litre of Ethanol is expected to be consumed in blending at 8.5% of blending.
  • Corn price is expected to reach Rs 2050-2100 in coming months which would be followed by a correction of Rs 1700-1750.

A. Jankiramana, GM, Soya Business, Suguna Foods on Soybean and Indian poultry industry

  • Due to the export of soybeans, tight supply is seen in the next three months.
  • Better prices might result in more acreage of soybean but looking at the monsoon we might end-up with the same acreage.
  • If the monsoon remains in good condition, a good crop is expected.
  • Present rate of soybean is hurting the poultry industry.

Gaurav Mittal, Head, Central Buying Organization, GAVL on Indian feed industry

  • For broilers, the input prices of maize is increased by 30% and soybean is increased by 75-80%.
  • Weather will bring extreme volatility in terms of input prices.
  • Till February, most of the industry focused on demand-side but in the next quarter supply side is the most critical element in the balance sheet.
  • Chinese demand was a key driver in 3rd and 4th quarter of last fiscal year and is expected to be a key price driver in the global market.

Sandip Guha, Chief Procurement Officer, Noveltech Group on feed crops

  • COVID related disruption is continued to impact the supply and demand situations.
  • Volatility and uncertainty seen in global trade creating the imbalance in the future markets will remain there.
  • Weather related events will continue to impact in terms of crop production. Like erratic rains in various areas impacting the crop and there may be a shift to soybean from maize due to better pricing.
  • In terms of demand drivers, poultry meat and eggs would be doing pretty well, starch continues in sweet spot, attractive export programme for maize and soybean, with rising milk production and milk prices it would further support the demand.
  • From a global point of view, China is to be looked at closely and also the weather in the US will impact the crop production.
  • For maize, SnD will be tight and prices will remain much higher than last few years and for soybean, SnD will be tight and prices will remain firm.
  • Way forward is to mitigate risk, develop better market linkages, have multiple formulations for challenging times, proper capital allocation, need for scientific forecasting for better procurement etc.

Mr. Amit Sachdev, Regional Consultant – South Asia (Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka), U S Grains Council on maize in India and globe

  • India may not be able to export much due to dollar value.
  • Indian maize prices may move up depending on the alternate grain option available, and quantity that industry can replace.
  • Prices of Indian corn to remain high.

Mr. Jason John, Team Lead -India at U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) on global soybean

  • Last year, Indian couldn’t fetch grain from South Africa, Ukraine or Myanmar or from any other non-GM producing country.
  • This year, India may get a good supply from South Africa as the strategic plan of China is to sell off their products.
  • India is stagnant with 10 MMT production while the demand is increasing on a y-o-y basis.
  • There will be some supply pressure from South Africa in coming years.
  • If prices remain this high, then people would prefer to import feed instead of manufacturing it in India.

The webinar was moderated by Dr. Vijay Makhija, Managing Committee Member, CLFMA of India and concluded by Suresh Deora, Hon. Secretary, CLFMA OF INDIA