Oilmeal export was down 32 per cent in March at 430,407 tonnes against 628,337 tonnes in the same period last year, according to the Solvent Extractors’ Association (SEA). The fall in export was due to sharp drop in demand and lower price offered by competing countries such as China and Argentina.

In March, major importing countries such as Japan, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia preferred China and Argentina as they offered better price compared to Indian exporters.

Export during the fiscal was down 13 per cent to 4,846,013 tonnes compared to 5,599,098 tonnes during the same period of last year. However, in value terms it increased 40 per cent to Rs 11,806 crore (Rs 8,430 crore) as rupee depreciated about eight per cent in last one year.

Lack of buying by China since January last year has affected overall oilmeal exports. Rapeseed meal exports were reduced by 4.5 lakh tonnes from 12.5 lakh tonnes registered previous year.

However, exports to West Asian and African countries doubled to 12.2 lakh tonnes , thanks to substantial increase in buying by Iran and Turkey. France also turned out to be a big importer of soyameal, due to lesser supply from other origins.

Trade with SAARC countries including Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal has improved in last one year due to marketing efforts. Bangladesh has become the major consumer of soyameal and rapeseed meal by road or rail from India.

A consignment of about six lakh tonnes was moved to neighbouring Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal by road and rail last fiscal, said SEA.

FOCUS ON IRAN

Oilmeal import by Iran has nearly tripled to 886,776 tonnes (230,760 tonnes) last fiscal. It imported 870,776 tonnes of soyameal and 16,000 tonnes of rapeseed meal. Shipments to South Korea were up eight per cent at 907,082 tonnes (836,223 tonnes) and consisted of 203,568 tonnes of soyameal, 380,611 tonnes of rapeseed meal and 322,903 tonnes of castor meal.

However, other major oilmeal importing countries such as Vietnam, Japan, Thailand and Indonesia reduced their orders to Indian exporters. Demand from Europe countries was up 28 per cent at 493,966 tonne (386,107 tonnes).

suresh.iyengar@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on April 5, 2013)
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