September 10, 2008

India contracts to sell 200,000 tonnes of soymeal to Asian countries



India has contracted exports of 200,000 tonnes of soymeal to Indonesia, Singapore and Taiwan at US$450 per tonne, launching new season shipments at prices 56 percent above last year's early deals.


India struck its first export deal at around US$288 per tonne last year but prices gradually rose as demand grew and supplies fell due to a strike by farmers in Argentina, which forced Thailand, South Korea and Japan to turn to the South Asian country.


Farmers planted soy on 9.54 million hectares between June 1 and Sept. 5, up 9.2 percent on year, government data showed.


Trade officials predicted that India's soy output is likely to rise to 10.2 million tonnes in 2008 from 10 million tonnes last year.


The Solvent Extractors' Association of India, a leading trade body, on Monday said exports of soymeal in August more than quadrupled to 212,310 tonnes from 46,720 tonnes.


Asia's biggest supplier of soymeal, India, is likely to export a record 5.5 million tonnes of soymeal in the current crop year that ends this month, buoyed by strong demand from traditional buyers in Southeast Asia. Demand for protein-rich feedstocks like soymeal has been rising rapidly due to greater consumption of poultry products globally, analysts say.


Soymeal would be exported in small containers, not bulk shipments, to enable traders to save on freight costs, Rajesh Agarwal, coordinator of the Soybean Processors' Association of India, told Reuters.


India grows nine types of oilseeds but only one soy crop, which is planted in June and harvested in October.

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