India likely to export record livestock feed

India likely to export record livestock feed

Mumbai: India, Asia’s biggest exporter of soybean meal, may export record volumes of the livestock feed next year,after farmers planted more soybean to benefit from high prices for the commodity and its products.

Soybean acreage may reach 8.4 million hectares (mha), up 9% from last year, the Soybean Processors’ Association of India said in an emailed statement on Sunday.

Soymeal exports in the year starting November may exceed last year’s record of 4 million tonnes (mt), according to the association.

Higher Indian exports may cut sales for US-based Bunge Ltd, the world’s biggest oilseed processor, and Latin American suppliers of soybean meal to Japan and South Korea.

India mainly exports animal feed to South-East Asian countries because of its proximity to those markets.

“The crop is in good condition and if everything goes well we may have a record crop," Rajesh Agrawal, spokesperson for the Indore-based association, said in a telephone interview. “Higher production is bound to lead to an increase in exports." Soymeal exports may exceed this year’s expected 3.7mt, he added.

Soybean futures in Chicago have gained 46% the past year, reaching a three-year high of $9.50 (Rs384) a bushel on 13 July as farmers in the US planted more corn, and reduced the oilseed’s acreage to the lowest in 12 years, the United States Department of Agriculture had said on 29 June.

The contract for November delivery fell 1.3% to $8.5025 a bushel in after-hours trading on the Chicago Board of Trade at 10:47am Mumbai time.

Indian farmers planted soybean in 8.1mha as on 2 August, with Madhya Pradesh, the nation’s biggest oilseed-growing state, accounting for 4.7mha. Maharashtra, the second biggest grower, allocated 2.3mha to the crop, the association said. India harvested 7.1mt of soybean this year.

Soybean meal futures reached a three-year high of $267.10 a short tonne on 13 July, with the contract for December delivery down 1.6% at $218.70 a tonne at 10:38am on Monday. bloomberg