Record soybean harvest expected in India

15-08-2008 | |
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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