Low prices, stocks hit Oct oilmeal sales

Written by Commodities Bureau | Agencies | New Delhi, Nov 6 | Updated: Nov 7 2008, 06:51am hrs
Indias October oilmeal exports fell nearly 43% to 149,326 tonne from the same month a year ago as global prices eased and domestic stocks plummeted, the Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEAI) said on Thursday. Exports between April and October were 2.66 million tonne against 1.71 million tonne during the same period a year ago, the SEA said in a statement.

Currently, global prices have fallen to $275 per tonne from $480 in August and heavy exports from April have depleted our stocks, leading to a drop in exports in October, BV Mehta, executive director, SEA, said. Exports would pick up from December when there would be a good supply of soybeans, he said. Indian farmers, who planted oilseeds like soybean and groundnut during the monsoon months of June and July, began harvesting the crops from October.

Though Indias oilseed production is expected to be low, at around 17.95 million tonne during the ongoing kharif season, down from an earlier estimate of 19.84 million tonne, but traders said that it wouldnt have a big impact on oilmeal exports in 2008-09 (September-October) as the shortfall is mainly expected in groundnut.

Groundnut meal is not much in demand for export and soymeal, which constitutes a large chunk of exports, there is no shortfall in production, a senior industry official said. According to government data, Indias soybean output in 2008-09 is expected to be around 9.94 million tonne, slightly less than an earlier estimate of 9.99 million tonne. The SEA said that the top three importers of Indian oilmeal were Vietnam, South Korea and Japan, where demand for animal feed has been on the rise due to the increasing sale of poultry products.