India’s soymeal exports are expected to have declined 24% on month to around 200,000 tn in December, primarily due to appreciation in the rupee against the dollar, an official with The Soybean Processors Association of India said today.
“We were expecting exports of around 300,000 tn in December but the demand (for Indian soymeal) fell last month because of sharp appreciation in rupee against the US dollar,” the official said, adding that many contracts of around 100,000 tn were cancelled in December because of a strong rupee.
A strong rupee makes the dollar-denominated soymeal exports cheaper for the seller.
France, Germany, Iran, Japan, and Vietnam were among the major importers of soymeal from India. Some buyers also shifted to cheaper soymeal from Latin American countries, as Indian prices became less competitive in international markets, the official said.
Soymeal from India is quoted at $415-$430 per tn, a $100 premium over the commodity from Argentina, the official said, adding that non-genetically modified soymeal from India has higher protein than that produced in the Americas, and is usually sold at a premium.
However, a sharp fall in exports was prevented because of rising demand from Iran and hope that Cnina would lift a ban on imports from India, traders said.
Iran, missing from the list of major buyers of Indian soymeal for years, may end up buying a significant quantity from India in 2018-19 (Oct-Sep), according to market experts. Some in the market believe the country may become one of the largest buyers of Indian soymeal this year.
Following a fresh bout of US sanctions, Iran, traditional an importer of soymeal from Latin American nations, has been increasingly looking at other destinations, including India, to source the meal from.
Recently, India signed a pact with Iran to settle imports from the latter in Indian rupees to circumvent economic sanctions imposed by the US.
China, the world’s largest importer and consumer of soybean and soymeal, had banned import of Indian soymeal and rapeseed meal in 2012, citing quality issues. The country recently allowed import of Indian rapeseed meal and traders are hopeful it will soon ease norms for import of soymeal as well. If that is the case, India could export about 500,000 tn of soymeal to China this year.
India’s soymeal exports in the year ended September surged to 1.76 mln tn from 261,502 tn the preceding year, data showed.
Soybean is a crucial kharif crop and accounts for 40% of India’s oilseed basket. Soymeal, a derivative of soybean, is primarily used as cattle feed. End
US$1 = 70.19 rupees