August 29, 2018 / 2:58 AM / in 8 months

India's soybean output may rise 20 percent in 2018/2019 - industry official

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - India’s soybean output is set to jump about 20 percent to over 10 million tonnes in the 2018/2019 crop year that starts in October, an industry official said on Wednesday.

Higher production in the world’s top importer of edible oils could curb its appetite for cargoes from overseas, potentially dragging on international soybean prices.

“(We are) looking at higher acreage and satisfactory rain so far in major soybean growing areas (such as) Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra,” said B.V. Mehta, executive director of the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA).

“The initial estimate (for 2018/19) is 10-plus million metric tonnes,” he said on the sidelines of an industry event in Kuala Lumpur.

Mehta added that India would likely churn out 8.3 million tonnes of soybeans in the 2017/2018 crop year that ends on Sept. 30.

The amount of land in India planted with soybeans for the 2018/2019 crop year had risen to 11.1 million hectares as of Aug. 10, according to government data, up from 10.2 million hectares at the same time the previous year.

However, monsoon rains are likely to be below average in 2018, after some parts of the country experienced tepid rainfall during the first-half of the season.

Reporting by Emily Chow; Editing by Joseph Radford

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