USDA lowers India’s oilmeal export forecast by 6.2% between Nov 2018- Oct 2019

After discounting availability of soybeans and considering strong domestic demand for animal feed, the out-year Indian oilmeal export forecast is lowered 6.2 percent to 3 million tonnes, as per the latest update from United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).

The export basket will include 2 million tonnes of soymeal, a little less than 1 million tonnes of rapeseed meal, and some quantity of peanut meal.

During the first 10 months of MY 2018/19, total oil meal exports (including surface transport) have risen eight percent to 2.3 million tonnes.

Rapeseed meal exports grew this year due to improved demand from South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. Post expects that by September 2019, India will be able to sell a little less than 1 million tonnes. Currently, it is quoted at $220/tonne (July, FOB Indian port) and is very competitive compared to $225/tonne (July, FOB Hamburg) quoted by international suppliers.

On the contrary, soybean meal exports slid in the last four months and are likely to stay subdued through September 2019 due to poor overseas demand and uncompetitive pricing. However, Indian soymeal may appeal to those who are willing to pay a more for the non-genetically modified tag and shorter transit time.

The July 2019 FOB quote for India soybean meal is $440/tonne as against $330/tonne (average) quoted by international suppliers in the United States and Brazil. Between the two, U.S. soymeal is selling at an eight per cent premium. USDA expects soymeal exports to reach 1.7 million tonnes, which is 0.2 million tonnes less than originally forecast in April 2019. Poor soybean export sales will weigh on total oilmeal exports and therefore the agency has revised down total oilmeal exports for Marketing Year 2018/19 to 2.6 million tonnes against its April 2019 annual forecast of 2.9 million tonnes.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at

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