India seals deals to import 250,000 T soymeal, buys back exported cargoes

Reuters MUMBAI/HAMBURG | Updated on September 02, 2021

Owing to rising demand in the country

India has contracted to import 250,000 tonnes of soymeal, including 15,000 tonnes that Indian dealers had shipped out only two months ago, traders said.

New Delhi last month allowed imports of genetically modified(GM) soymeal for the first time to help the poultry industry,which is reeling from a surge in local soymeal prices that tripled in a year to a record high.

Also read: India allows imports of 1.2 mn tonnes of genetically modified soymeal

But even before the government allowed GM soymeal imports,traders started booking shipments to meet rising demand in the country. “Sensing huge profit, traders this week brought back Indian soymeal that was exported two months ago,” said a Mumbai-based dealer with a global trading firm.

Three other global traders confirmed India’s soymeal import deals, including the 15,000-tonne cargo being shipped back to India.

Hugely profitable

A sharp rise in Indian soymeal prices meant that sending the cargo back to India was profitable by at least $500 a tonne more than selling the consignment to Europe, said a German trader.

It was a good move to “re-export back to India, as crazy as it sounds. This was a shipment of about 15,000 tonnes,” he said.

Another German trader said more shipments of soymeal bought by other Asian countries are currently being diverted to India.

India could buy the bulk of soymeal from Argentina, and some cargoes from a few Asian countries, said a third German trader,with 100,000 tonnes of Argentine soymeal purchased in the last two weeks of August following about 90,000 tonnes of soymeal from other Asian countries.

Traders are keen to import soymeal in large volumes, but India has allowed overseas purchases of the animal feed only through the Nhava Sheva Port, primarily for containers.Only relatively small container loads are possible when container shipping is costly, said a third German trader.

Published on September 02, 2021

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