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Friday, Feb 20, 2004

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Rising freight charges impact soyameal exports

Ch. Prashanth Reddy

Hyderabad , Feb. 19

SOYAMEAL exports from the country have been hit by rising freight rates along with avian influenza in many Asian countries.

According to Mr Rajnikant Rai of ITC International Business Division, international price of the product has dropped to $255 per tonne at present from $280 per tonne in January.

Mr Rai attributes the fall in soyameal prices to a steep increase in freight charges, which have gone up to a level of $35-38 per tonne as against the usual about $27 per tonne.

Soyameal is one of the important ingredients of poultry feed.

Asserting that the current decline in exports was a temporary phenomenon, he said the demand would pick up by April. "In fact, the market gets depressed every year during this time in anticipation of the South American crop".

Mr Govvind Ambady, Vice-President (Commodity Sourcing and Exports) of Agro Tech Foods Ltd, said the country normally exports 2.4 million tonnes of soyameal to Far-East. However, most of the international buyers at present were postponing their purchases. Even in the domestic market, soyameal prices have fallen to Rs 11,100 per tonne from about Rs 12,300 per tonne.

On the other hand, soya oil prices are on a higher side even in the domestic market despite a bumper crop this year. Mr Rai said that oil prices were high in the domestic market because the international prices continued to be high. That was one of the reasons why the country had not started importing edible oils though the domestic production of oilseeds would meet only 50 per cent of the country's requirement.

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