Soybean output in India to rise 20% as farmers boost acreage

Soybean output in India to rise 20% as farmers boost acreage

Chicago: Soybean production in India, the second largest importer of vegetable oils, will rise 20% to a record after farmers planted more land and monsoon rains boosted yields, the US foreign agricultural service said.

Soybean production will climb to 9.25 million tonnes (mt) in the marketing year than began 1 October from 7.69mt last year, the US embassy staff in New Delhi said in a report. The forecast rose from 8.09mt after the area planted jumped 9% to a record 8.85 million ha.

“Production estimates for the current year are viewed as a sign of some relief," the US analysts said. Soybean futures in Chicago closed on Tuesday at the highest since July 1973.

Most of India’s increased production will result from expanded planting, with timely rains benefiting seed germination and pod filling, according to the report. Yields also gained from use of herbicides and improved crop management practices.

India’s animal feed production from soybeans will rise 20% to a record 6.37mt from 5.29mt, the US staff said. Protein feed exports will rise 26% to 4.4mt, from 3.46mt.

Production of cooking oil from soybeans will rise 21% to 1.4mt, from 1.16mt, according to the report. Soybean oil imports will fall 11% to 1.3mt, from an estimated 1.46mt. India’s imports of oils made from soybeans, sunflowers and palm trees jumped 16% to a record 4.85mt in the marketing year that ended 30 September.

“Maintaining adequate levels of edible oil imports is emerging as a growing issue of concern," according to the report. “International prices are expected to remain firm due to growing demand for biofuels, low production estimates from some of the world’s big edible oil producers, rising crude oil prices, and freight rates."

India didn’t revise benchmark import prices for crude palm and soybean oil during meetings 15 November.

The benchmarks, unchanged since August 2006, were introduced to prevent traders from paying lower import duties by understating edible oil prices.