Oilmeals export from India grew by around 13 per cent in quantity and 35 per cent in value during FY24.

Data compiled by the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) shows India exported 48.85 lakh tonnes (lt) of oilmeals valued at ₹15,370 crore during financial year 2023-24, against 43.36 lt valued at ₹11,400 crore in 2022-23.

Competitive market

BV Mehta, Executive Director of SEA, said this is the biggest export of oilmeals in quantity and value since 2013-14, when 43.81 lt valued at ₹11,500 crore was exported.

He said export of soyabean meal revived during 2023-24 and increased to 21.33 lt compared to 10.22 lt in 2022-23.

Indian soyabean meal was the most competitive in the international market during 2023-24. However, Indian soyabean meal (ex-Kandla) was quoted at $490 a tonne on April 15, Argentine soyabean meal (cif Rotterdam) was quoted at $417 a tonne, posing a strong competition with the potential to slow down exports from India in the coming months.

India exported 22.13 lt of rapeseed meal during 2023-24, compared to 22.97 lt in the same period the previous fiscal. Rapeseed production in India has increased in the last three years.

Of late, export of rapeseed meal has slowed due to competition from soyabean meal in the world market, he said.

Export ban hurts rice bran

With export of de-oiled ricebran allowed till July end, India exported 1.52 lt during April-July 2023, he said. Exports were banned from July 28, 2023, to July 31, 2024.

The ban may push ricebran processors in eastern India to down operations. This would hurt not only the rice milling industry but also ricebran oil production, Mehta said.

Prices of most oilmeals fell, except rapeseed meal, in terms of dollar per tonne during the year. The rupee moved slightly up from ₹82.26 to ₹83.02 against the dollar, he said

Major importers

Bangladesh was the largest importer of Indian oilmeals during 2023-24 at 8.92 lt, including 4.34 lt of rapeseed meal, 4.31 lt of soyabean meal, and 0.28 lt of de-oiled ricebran.

South Korea followed at 8.32 lt, including 5.47 lt of rapeseed meal, 2.26 lt of castorseed meal, and 57,899 tonnes of soyabean meal.

Thailand imported 6.33 lt, mainly rapeseed meal at 6.16 lt.

Mehta said Iran has turned out to be a major importer of soyabean meal from India (including shipment via Dubai) — at 4.29 lt — during 2023-24.