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Indian exports lower as soybean prices surge on demand

Published on 6 January, 2010, Last updated at 19:50 GMT
Indian exports lower as soybean prices surge on demand

Soybean meal supplies from India, Asia’s biggest exporter, dropped 41 percent in the three months ended December, as a surge in local seed prices prompted buyers to shift to South American supplies, a processors’ group said.

Shipments in the period were 839,996 metric tons, compared with 1.42 million tons a year ago, Rajesh Agrawal, coordinator for the Soybean Processors’ Association of India, said in a phone interview from Indore today. Exports in December slumped 51 percent to 324,088 tons from a year earlier, he said.

Soybean prices in India advanced 18 percent in the October- December quarter after drought reduced production in Argentina and Brazil, the top exporters of animal feed, increasing demand for supplies from the South Asian country. India may miss its target to export 4 million tons of soybean meal in the year to September, Agrawal said Nov. 30.

“Indian meal prices are still higher than those of the U.S. and Latin America,” Agrawal said today. “We are not expecting a pick-up in exports before March.”

Soybean meal, India’s largest oilseed meal export, is added to poultry feed as a form of protein to aid birds’ growth. Sales were 3.21 million tons in the 2008-09 season.

Shipments of all oilseed meal, including canola, slumped 32 percent to 1.05 million tons in three months ended December from 1.54 million tons a year earlier, the Mumbai-based the Solvent Extractors’ Association said in an e-mailed statement today.


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