Robust purchases by countries such as the US, France, Indonesia and Vietnam have pushed up Indian soyameal exports by almost three times during the October-February period of the current season to September.
Shipments were 14.35 lakh tonnes (lt) during October-February 2020-21 against 3.65 lt in the same period last year.
Feed offtake down
However, domestic consumption of soyameal by feed makers declined by about a tenth on higher prices and lower off-take by the poultry sector, which bore the brunt of Covid-19 and bird flu. “Internationally, oilmeal prices are high and so we are able to export,” said DN Pathak, Executive Director of The Soyabean Processors Association (SOPA). Indian soyameal has turned competitive for the past several months on surging international prices fuelled by rising demand amidst lower supplies.
France has been the biggest buyer so far this oil year, followed by the US and Indonesia among others. Purchases this year by these countries are far higher than the whole of previous oil year.
SOPA has pegged the export of soyameal at 18 lt for the 2020-21 oil year — more than twice of previous year’s 8.6 lt. Production of soyameal stood at 41.50 lt till February, of which 14.35 lt is exported.
The consumption by domestic feed industry is estimated lower at 23.50 lt (26.50 lt). Soyameal consumption by domestic food segment is pegged marginally higher at 2.55 lt. Pathak said the lower consumption by the feed sector is on account of higher prices.
Soyabean arrivals in the first five months have been estimated by SOPA at 70 lakh tonnes and stocks with farmers, crushing plants and traders are pegged at 45.40 lt.
SOPA estimates oilmeal production for 2020-21 oil year to be around 76.46 lt, of which the feed industry offtake is seen at 51 lt and the domestic food segment at 7 lt and exports at 18 lt.