Soyabean, rapeseed boost Indian oilmeal exports up by 21% in April-Nov.

Growth in the export of soyabean meal and rapeseed meal has helped India register a 21.04 per cent increase in the overall export of oilmeals during April-November of the current financial year.

Data compiled by Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) showed that India exported 28.83 lakh tonnes (lt) of oilmeals during April-November 2023-24 against 23.82 lt in the corresponding period of 2022-23.

Highlighting the demand for Indian soyabean meal from the international market, BV Mehta, Executive Director of SEA, said improved price competitiveness and the shortage of Argentine export supplies in the recent months helped boost the export growth.

India exported 8.57 lt of soyabean meal during the first eight months of 2023-24 (3.25 lt a year ago). As of December 14, soyabean meal (ex-Kandla) was quoted at $540 a tonne, while soyabean meal from Argentina (CIF Rotterdam) was quoted at $545 a tonne. This boosted the Indian soyabean meal export from the new crops.

Logistical advantage

South-East Asia is the major consumer of Indian soyabean meal. India has a logistic advantage to South East Asian destinations, and can supply in small lots, he said.

India exported 16.07 lt of rapeseed meal during April-November of 2023-24 (14.74 lt). He said India is the most competitive supplier of rapeseed meal to South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand and other Far-East countries at $326 a tonne (f.o.b. India). Rapeseed meal from Hamburg (ex-mill) was quoted at $334 a tonne.

Ban rice bran exports

Mehta said the Government has extended the ban on the export of de-oiled ricebran until March 31 2024, contrary to the expectations of the industry.

Stating that the processing of ricebran has witnessed a significant uptick with the commencement of the new season, he said this has led to a commendable improvement in the availability of de-oiled ricebran, manifesting in a notable reduction in price from Rs.18,000 a tonne on July 28 (the date of issuing the notification) to the current price of Rs.12,800 a tonne. It is anticipated that the prices may further decrease as the ricebran processing continues to increase, he said.

The eastern States of the country, including West Bengal, are significant producers of ricebran extraction. On the implications of the decision to extend the ban on export of de-oiled ricebran, he said the underdeveloped nature of the cattle feed industry in eastern India has resulted in limited demand for ricebran extraction domestically.

With the ban on export persisting, ricebran processors in eastern India are now confronted with the looming threat of shutting down their operations, he said, adding, this not only adversely impacts the rice milling industry but also poses a risk to the overall production of ricebran oil.

Major importers

South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and Bangladesh are the major importers of oilmeals from India.

South Korea imported 5.55 lt of oilmeals during April-November 2023-24 (6.03 lt in April-November 2022-23). This included 3.77 lt of rapeseed meal, 1.51 lt of castorseed meal, and 26,671 tonnes of soyabean meal.

India exported 3.35 lt of of oilmeals (5.67 lt) to Vietnam during the first eight months of 2023-24. This consisted of 90,540 tonnes of ricebran extraction, 1.94 lt of rapeseed meal, 49,683 tonnes of soyabean meal, and 905 tonnes of groundnut meal.

Thailand imported 4.62 lt of oilmeals during April-November 2023-24 (4.33 lt). This included 4.49 lt of rapeseed meal, 7,039 tonnes of soyabean meal, 4,666 tonnes of ricebran extraction, and 701 tonnes of castorseed meal.

India exported 5.95 lt of oilmeals (2.46 lt) to Bangladesh during the first eight months of 2023-24. This included 27,771 tonnes of ricebran extractions, 3.03 lt of rapeseed meal, and 2.63 lt of soyabean meal.

This article has been republished from The Hindu Business Line.

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