New Delhi: Indian soyameal exporters are upbeat on Chinese demand and expect sales to the country to jump more than three times this season.
“The demand of soyameal from China has increased over last year. On a conservative basis also, we estimate exports of about 400,000 tonnes in the 2007-08 season,” Rajesh Agrawal, coordinator of Indore-based Soyabean Processors Association (SOPA), told PTI.
India exported 132,000 tonnes of soyameal to China in the 2006-07 season ending September this year, much lower than the 613,000 tonnes the previous year. In October, the first month of this season, exports to China stood at 34,381 tonnes.
Agrawal said China is facing a shortfall of about 15% in its production.
“China has a freight advantage of $40 a tonne when it imports soyameal from India in bulk and an additional $15 when the shipment goes through container,” he said.
Importers in South-East Asia find Indian soyameal shipments cheaper than those from Brazil and Argentina, due to lower freight costs of $40-50 a tonne.
“Shortfall in production apart, Chinese importers located closer to Indian territory would like to buy from us instead of bringing the meals from one part of their country to another,” he said.
Apart from China, India exports soyameal to Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Taiwan, Bangladesh and Pakistan among others. Soyameal is consumed by the poultry industry that has been facing shortages in maize, which is the major feed.
India’s total soyameal export, which stood at 3.53 million tonnes worth Rs3,342 crore in 2006-07 season, is expected to touch 4.5 million tonnes this year on the back of bumper domestic output coupled with global shortage.
Despite rupee appreciation, exporters said India would get better realizations this season because of lower production of soyabean in the US and China.