* Exports seen rising to over 2 mln T in 2016/17 from
261,501 T yr earlier
* Soymeal prices drop 25 pct, make exports viable
* Traders contract to export 500,000 T in Dec-March
By Rajendra Jadhav
MUMBAI, Dec 14 India's soymeal exports in
2016/17 are likely to jump to three-year highs as a sharp price
correction due to a rebound in soybean production makes overseas
sales competitive, said industry officials.
Higher exports from India could trim shipments of South
American soymeal into Asia, and also shore up local soybean
prices, which fell below a government-fixed support
level in physical markets recently.
India's soymeal exports could jump to more than 2 million
tonnes in the 2016/17 year that started on Oct. 1, from 261,501
tonnes shipped in the previous year, Atul Chaturvedi, president
of industry body Solvent Extractors Association of India, told
"Now, Indian values are more or less aligned with world
values and that's why exports are taking place."
Soymeal prices on a free-on-board basis in India have
plunged 25 percent in the past four months to $365 per tonne due
to a jump in local soybean production, dealers said. Soybeans
are crushed to produce oil and meal.
India struggled to export soymeal in 2015/16 as local prices
jumped following a steep fall in soybean production due to a
This year, India is expected to harvest 66 percent more
soybeans at 11.5 million tonnes as the south Asian country
received normal rainfall, estimates the Soybean Processors
Association of India (SOPA).
"Our local consumption is around 5 million tonnes. So, we
have ample soymeal for exports," said D.N. Pathak, executive
director of SOPA.
Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, Myanmar are among the key buyers
of Indian soymeal, which is not genetically modified.
In November, India's soymeal exports more than doubled from
a year earlier to 61,003 tonnes, according to SOPA.
Traders have contracted to export around 500,000 tonnes
soymeal for shipments in December-March, said an oil miller
based in the central Indian city of Indore.
"We are very much competitive right now. We are getting good
amount of orders from Asian buyers due to lower freight rates,"
the miller said.
Soybean supplies in spot markets were disrupted in the last
few weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi scrapped 500-rupee
and 1,000-rupee banknotes on Nov. 8 to crack down on rampant
corruption and counterfeit currency.
"Supplies dropped last month, but now mills are getting
enough beans for crushing," said Pathak of SOPA.
(Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)