Lower output, lack of incentives may halve soymeal exports

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Pune | Published: November 14, 2019 2:44:43 AM

Soyabean output this season is estimated to remain 89.84 lakh tonne as compared to 109.330 lakh tonne in the previous season owing to relentless rain in leading cultivating regions that damaged standing crops.

SOPA, which has projected a 20% dip in soybean output this year, sees a steeper decline in soymeal exports due to these issues.

India’s soyabean meal exports in oil year 2019-20 is estimated at 10 lakh tonne which is 11.8 lakh tonne lower as compared to last years’ shipment of 21.79 lakh tonne, according to the Soybean Processors Association of India (SOPA).

DN Pathak, executive director, SOPA, said that there could be a major decline in exports. Apart from a lower crop, the lack of clarity in continuation of the incentive under the MEIS scheme is hurting export order bookings.

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has stopped giving 7% MEIS benefit for export of soyabean meal with effect from August 1, 2019 and de-activated the web portal for filing of such claims online. This is causing huge loss to exporters, SOPA stated earlier. Therefore, exports have become difficult, he said.

SOPA, which has projected a 20% dip in soybean output this year, sees a steeper decline in soymeal exports due to these issues. “They (the government) are neither giving it, nor withdrawing it or denying it. From August 1, the government has stopped giving the 7 % MEIS incentive. We have written to every one, but there’s no response,” Pathak said. “Indian soymeal is expensive by over $100 per tonne when compared to our competitors. The 7% incentive, provided under MEIS scheme over the FOB value of the shipment had helped the exporters offset the higher price in the international market to some extent,” Pathak explained.

Shipments of soymeal during October were sluggish and stood at 0.5 lakh tonne as against 1.3 lakh tonne in the corresponding period last year. Soyabean output this season is estimated to remain 89.84 lakh tonne as compared to 109.330 lakh tonne in the previous season owing to relentless rain in leading cultivating regions that damaged standing crops, according to an aerial survey by SOPA.

In Madhya Pradesh, the largest soyabean producing state in the country, soyabean production is estimated to decline to a significant 31 % to 40.107 lakh tonne this year. In the previous year, the crop production stood at 109.33 lakh tonne.

According to SOPA, exports of soybean meal in the first month of the oil year stood at 49,740 tonne with Iran, Vietnam and Indonesia as the major markets.Southeast Asian countries, traditional buyers for Indian meal, have also slowed down purchases due to higher prices offered for Indian meal.

India’s soymeal exports for the oil year 2019-20, starting October, may see a sharp decline on lower availability of the oilseed for crushing and higher prices, the association said.

Iran was the largest buyer of soymeal in October, purchasing about 21,605 tonne, followed by Vietnam at 2,185 tonne and Indonesia at 950 tonne. Pathak pointed out that there have been talks about trade resumption with China but not much has happened on that front. China is a leading consumer of soymeal in the world.

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