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Eyeing larger soyabean crop, trade sees scope for exports to Far East.

Date: 01-09-2016
Subject: Eyeing larger soyabean crop, trade sees scope for exports to Far East
Ahmedabad, August 31: After the latest field survey of the soyabean crop in key growing regions, trade bodies expect a ‘much bigger’ crop this year against last year’s estimated 69 million tonnes (mt) of production. Soyabean prices are likely to dip by 8-10 per cent on higher production estimates this kharif.

In its crop health survey conducted from August 21-29, the Soyabean Processors Association of India (SOPA) found ‘satisfactory crop health’ in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, covering 41 districts and 85 per cent of the soyabean area.

“The crop prospects are very encouraging and satisfactory. Looking at the crop condition and the acreage, we can expect a much bigger crop than last year. However, a formal crop estimate will be announced later,” said Davish Jain, Chairman, SOPA. The trade body reported a drop of about 9 per cent in the acreage in Madhya Pradesh, and 8 per cent in Rajasthan. But Maharashtra witnessed an increase by about 6 per cent over the last kharif season.

In States such as Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat, the soyabean acreage has increased by 30 per cent over last year owing to the shift from other crops such as cotton.

The harvest is likely to start by September 25.

Prices sliding

According to Jain, prices have already started declining. “There is already a downward trend in the prices as we expect higher production over last year. In the next one month or so, prices may further go down by about 8-10 per cent, making it a favourable situation for exports,” said Jain.

A higher crop will have exportable surplus with prices aligned with the international market thereby, providing parity.

“With this higher crop we can re-enter the Far East markets, where we have been almost absent for the last two years. A parity in prices will open the export window for us,” added Jain, who is leading a delegation of soyabean processors to Japan from September 18 to 30 to explore business prospects.

The Union Commerce Ministry has written a letter to the Embassy of India in Japan explaining the plight of India’s soyameal business.

“During the last couple of years, our (India’s) exports have fallen drastically due to disparity in prices. This year, the crop looks very good and there is every possibility that we can re-enter these markets with competitive prices and the added advantage of being totally non-GM,” the letter stated.

Source : thehindubusinessline.com

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