News 1310 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Record soybean harvest expected in India

Soya bean output in India may reach a record next year after good monsoon showers and high prices spurred planting, a spokesman for the Soybean Processors Association of India said.

India is Asia's biggest exporter of soya bean meal. Output for the harvest starting October will surpass the 9.99 million tonnes (mt), estimated by the government for the previous season, spokesman Rajesh Agrawal said.

Boost exports
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.

"Exports will be robust and a bigger crop will ensure we have enough supplies to meet additional demand," Agrawal said. Shipments will be more than the 5 million tonnes estimated for this year, he added.

The area planted with soya beans rose to 9.26 million 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 million 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 million ha in Maharashtra, the second biggest grower, from 3.2 million ha last year.

"The crop is in good condition and if the weather remains favourable in September, we will have a bumper crop," Agrawal said. "Rains in the past few weeks have helped farmers sow the crop to the maximum area possible."

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