A week after restricting futures trading on some agriculture commodities and extending the deadline for duty free pulse imports till March 2022, the Centre has now imposed stock-holding limits on soyameal, in a bid to control its prices. The stock holding limits will be in place till June 30, 2022.
A notification issued by the department of consumer affairs, food and public distribution stated that soyameal millers, processors or plants can hold stocks of up to 90 days of production. Traders and trading companies or private chaupals can hold only up to 160 tonne of soyameal with a defined and declared storage location, it said.
In case of stocks held by these respective legal entities are higher than the prescribed limits, then they shall declare the same on the government portal of the department of consumer affairs & pubic distribution and bring it to the prescribed stock limits within 30 days of the issue of the notification.
It shall be ensured that the soyameal stock is regularly declared and updated on the portal and data on the portal will be regularly monitored by the department of animal husbandry & dairying and any other follow-up action will be taken by this department, the notification said.
Soyameal is a key constituent of poultry feed meal and its rates are directly connected to soyabean prices because seed has more than 80% meal and 18% oil content in them. This season, despite a good harvest, soya bean prices have soared almost 76% in the domestic market, benefitting farmers on one hand but hurting the poultry industry on the other.
Soyabean production is estimated to be 127.2 lakh tonne in the 2021-22 season, as per the agriculture ministry’s first advance estimate of this year’s kharif crop production. The estimate is only marginally lower than the 128.9 lakh tonnes produced last year. Traders believe growers are holding stocks in anticipation of better prices in the near future, which is resulting in lower supplies in the market.