Indian soya bean meal exports have touched around 6-7 lakh tonne until December 2020 and is likely to cross around 12-14 lakh tonne in the 2020-21 (October-September) season, senior industry officials said. DN Pathak, SOPA executive director, pointed out that there had been a robust demand for Indian soya bean meal.
Soybean meal export prices are attractive at around $520 per tonne and Rs 36,300 per tonne, industry officials said. Typically, price of the Indian soya meal variety is higher than the international ones, but this year India has an advantage in exporting more as the recent global rally in soybean prices has made Indian soya meal competitive. In November, India’s soya meal exports surged 144% on year to 200,000 tonne due to a revival in demand, led by opening up of economies across the globe, observed SOPA.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has reduced India’s crop estimate to 90 lakh tonne versus earlier estimate of 114 lakh tonne. Lowering of India’s soya bean production estimate by nearly 20% had added fuel to the bullish sentiments and a bullish year for soya bean is expected during the greater part of 2021, industry experts said.
Significantly, the US has turned out to be India’s biggest soya meal buyer. Soya meal exports to the US increased 19.5% in the first half of the current fiscal year to 1.31 lakh tonne against 1.10 lakh tonne during the year-ago period. Overall, oil meal exports to the US recorded highest growth among importing nations.
Among other countries, Taiwan and Vietnam registered 15.17 % and 14.26 % increase, respectively, in Indian oilmeal imports during the period. Soya meal export growth was a meagre 0.11 % or 11,000 tonne in the first half of the fiscal year compared to 6% growth in overall oilmeal shipments.
According to BV Mehta, executive director, Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA), Indian soya meal is given priority in the US since it needs non-GM soybean.
“Barely 5% of the soya bean crop in the US is non-GM and those who want non-GM soy products there have to pay a premium. That’s the reason way the Indian soya meal is competitive,” he said. SOPA chairman Davish Jain had earlier stated that US had emerged as the biggest buyer of such specialised soya meal and its demand was growing.