New Delhi: The edible oil industry has predicted soyabean production of 8 million tonnes for 2007-08 on higher coverage of oilseed planting in the current kharif season.
“The availability of soyabean is likely to be 80 lakh (8 million) tonnes, including a carryover stock of 3 lakh tonnes from last year as production is estimated at around 77 lakh tonnes,” industry sources said.
However, Soyabean Processors Association (SOPA) Coordinator Rajesh Agrawal refused to speculate the crop size saying ‘sowing is yet to be completed´.
“At the moment, the situation is under control. There is no drought-like situation anywhere in central India where most of the soyabeans are grown,” Agrawal said.
Sporadic rains are still continuing in the main growing region of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra which is good for soyabean, he added.
According to Agriculture Ministry, the area under soyabean crop increased by 6% to 78.05 lakh hectares till 26 July in the on-going kharif season, compared to 73.44 lakh hectares in the corresponding period last year.
As per industry estimates, the production in 2006-07 season was 7.66 million tonnes while the government had put the crop size at 8.86 million tonnes in its fourth advance crop estimate for the same period.
Commenting on the price outlook of soya oil in the domestic market, Agrawal said it would be at the current level of Rs 50 per kg with plus-minus of Rs 10, depending on the demand-supply position.
He did not foresee a decline in prices of soya oil, which is imported mainly from Argentina and Brazil even as the latter is expected to to increase its area under soyabean.
“The expected increase of soyabean area in Brazil will be offset by a decline in the areas under the oilseed in US, where the shift is towards corn,” he said. The US is the largest producer of soyabean while Brazil came at number two.
Brazil is estimated to expand its soyabean area by seven per cent to 22.8 million hectares in the 2007-08 crop, a leading agribusiness consultancy of the south American nation AgRural said last week. The sowing starts in late September and October in Brazil.