October 27, 2003



Soymeal Prices in India Remain Stable; Chinese Soymeal Importers Show Interest on Supply from India


The exports prices of Indian soymeal are likely to remain stable, with continuing demand from South Korea and Indonesia, and growing interest among Chinese soymeal importers, traders said on Monday, October 27.


They said South Korean feed millers were buying about 150,000 tons of soymeal every month, most of it of Indian origin, and there were inquiries for more soymeal.


"There is no bearishness visible in the soymeal export market, with prices quoted at $260 to $261 FAS Kandla port," says Rajesh Agrawal, chairman of the Soybean Processors Association of India.


Indian soymeal prices were comparatively higher than in the past two years but $10 a ton lower than U.S. and Brazilian meal, and buyers also saved on freight costs, he added.


Traders said India is likely to export more than three million tons of soymeal this year because of an anticipated record soybean crop of 6.7 million tons following good monsoon rains.


India exported just 1.3 million tons of soymeal in 2002/03 (October-September) with soybean output hit by poor rains.


"The market will remain steady to firm at these levels," said Davish Jain, a leading soymeal exporter at Indore, the hub of the country's soybean trade.


He further commented China's entry into soymeal imports after a gap of three to four years had changed market sentiments.


India sold about 150,000 tons of soymeal this month to China for November and December shipment. China has in recent years emerged as an exporter of the protein source following an explosive expansion in crushing capacity.


Jain said any downslide in soymeal prices was limited as Indian traders had committed more than 50 percent of the country's exportable surplus and there was no selling pressure.


"Every Korean tender is going at prices firmer than the previous one," he said.


Agrawal says the market could see an upturn if there is a deterioration in the weather in the soybean-growing belt in South America.
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