Soya bean output in India may reach a record next year after good monsoon
showers and high prices spurred planting, said a spokesman for the Soybean
Processors Association of India.
India is Asia's biggest exporter of soya bean meal. Output for the harvest
starting October will surpass the 9.99 mln tonnes, estimated by the government
for the previous season, spokesman Rajesh Agrawal said.
India's record harvest will boost exports to countries including Vietnam,
Japan and South Korea and pose competition to suppliers in the US, Argentina and
Brazil. Record prices of soya beans, wheat and corn have encouraged plantings,
helping ease a food shortage.
â€œExports will be robust and a bigger crop will ensure we have enough
supplies to meet additional demand,â€ Agrawal said. Shipments will be more than
the 5 mln t estimated for this year, he added.
The area planted with soya beans rose to 9.26 mln ha by 11 August, 6% more
than a year earlier, the group said in its first crop survey this year.
Soya bean meal
India, which grows non-genetically modified soya beans, sells more than 70%
of its animal feed output abroad. Soya bean meal, India's largest meal export,
is added to poultry feed as a form of protein to aid birds' growth.
The area planted with soya bean rose 4.4% to 5.2 mln ha in Madhya Pradesh,
which accounts for more than half of the country's production, according to the
group's survey. It fell to 2.7 mln ha in Maharashtra, the second biggest grower,
from 3.2 mln ha last year.
â€œThe crop is in good condition and if the weather remains favourable in
September, we will have a bumper crop,â€ Agrawal said. â€œRains in the past few
weeks have helped farmers sow the crop to the maximum area possible.â€