Highest ever prices and early rainfall have pushed Asia's biggest supplier of
soybean meal, India, to plant a record soybean crop for a second year in a row.
The area planted to soybeans may gain as much as 20% in the year beginning
July from 8.85 million hectares (21.87 million acres) last year, Dinesh Shahra,
managing director of India's biggest soybean processor Ruchi Soya Industries Ltd,
said in an interview with Bloomberg.
India exports soybean meal to
nations including China, Vietnam, Japan, Indonesia and South Korea. According to
Shahra there is already a rush among farmers to secure enough soybean seeds
ahead of sowing. Because of record prices farmers devote every inch of land
available to the crop this year.
Favourable weather have stimulated
farmers in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, which accounts for more than half
the country's total output, to start planting soybeans 15 to 20 days earlier
than normal. Early rains will further boost sowing and increase
Soybean production may rise to 9.47 m tonnes in the year
ending June from 7.15 m tonnes a year earlier, according to the Indian Soybean
Processors Association. Also in the western Indian state of Maharashtra may
decide to plant soybeans instead of cotton and sugar cane since local soybean
prices have more than doubled.
production in India may boost the country's meal exports to Southeast Asian
countries seeking cheaper alternatives to soybean meals or corn from Latin
America, the US and China. Supply from Argentina is tight and US meal is more
expensive for imports in Asia.
India's overseas sales of soybean meal
may surpass 4.5 m tonnes for the year through September 2008, according to the
Soybean Processors Association. Exports totalled 4.1 m tonnes between October
and May, 31 percent more than a year earlier. Indian usually exports more than
70% of its output.
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