November 12, 2008

India's soy growers hit by sharp fall in prices


India's soy growers, currently harvesting a crop of record size, have been severely hit by depressed prices and are selling their beans at a discount to global rates, London-based vegetable oils analyst, Dorab Mistry said Tuesday (November 11).


"India's soy growers are now receiving less for their beans than counterparts in the US and Brazil," Mistry said addressing the China International Oils and Oilseeds Conference in Guangzhou.


Earlier, India's vegetable oils and oilseeds were offered at a premium over global prices making it imperative to levy import tariffs.


India's federal government has set an intervention price for soy equivalent to around US$7.25/bushel and the local prices are close to US$8/bushel.


January soy on the Chicago Board of Trade finished 27 cents higher Monday at US$9.48/bushel.


Mistry said India's soy growers are earning less for their crop even though they are competing with their counterparts in the Americas, who are among the world's most efficient.


In India, the average size of soy farms is less than 2.0 hectares and productivity is one-third of the Americas.


According to industry estimates, India's soy output this year is estimated at a record high of 9.9 million tonnes, up from 9.5 million tonnes in 2007.