India Sources Soybean Meal From Argentina at $227/Ton


Dec 14, 2022 | Agricultural Markets News

Reading time: 7 minutes

India consumed an estimated six million metric tons of Soybean Meal in the fiscal year 2021. There has been a consistent increase in the quantity of domestic consumption since the fiscal year 2016. Soybean Meals were used mainly in food, and animal feeds as a protein supplement. Soybean exports from India had increased in the previous year due to Iran’s markets opening up due to the US sanctions.

The most popular vegetarian protein source in the world, the annual worldwide Soya Meal production is around 132 million tons. The world’s significant producers of Soya Meals are the United States, China, Brazil, and India. Soybean crop is harvested in the months of August and September, whereas in South America, it may be harvested in January and February.

India is one of the major exporters of Soyabeans. Over two-thirds of the Soya Meal is exported to various parts of the world. Soya Meal accounts for a sizeable chunk of over 84% of total oilseed Meal exports from the country. The major trading centers for soy in India include Indore and Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, Nagpur in Maharashtra, and Kota in Rajasthan. Soya is a heavily traded commodity, and the Chicago (CBOT) is known as the largest Soya futures market in the world.

Driven by high domestic Soybean Meal prices in 2021/22 and concerns from the domestic poultry industry about adequate supplies, the Indian government announced an additional tariff-rate quota (TRQ) of 550,000 metric tons for Soybean Meal (to include genetically engineered) on May 2, 2022. This was in addition to the TRQ of 650,000 tons that had already been implemented in August 2021. Total 2021/22 imports of Soybean Meal reached 646,000 tons, almost triple the volume of the prior marketing year. Imports were attractive compared to high domestic prices for Soybean Meal. India has sourced most Soybean Meal imports from Argentina at an average of $227/ ton, a steep discount on domestic supplies at an average of $697/ton.

Additionally, high domestic prices had a negative impact on Indian exports in 2021/22. India has historically been a significant supplier of Soybean Meal to the global market, principally to the EU, the United States, and Nepal. Its non-genetically engineered crop has dominated the global market for customers with such preferences.

2022/23 Meal imports are forecast to decline and remain lower than the 5-year average as domestic supplies are now trading at a discount to primary global supplies. Also, the additional TRQ for Soybean Meal imports ended on September 30 with no indication of an extension. The lower prices will raise India Soybean Meal exports in 2022/23 by 65 percent compared to the previous year, putting them slightly below the 5-year average.

Indian Soybean Meal Trade


In 2020, India exported Soybean Meal worth $681 million, making it the world’s 7th largest exporter of Soybean Meal. In the same year, Soybean Meal was India’s 81st most exported product. The leading destination of Soybean Meal exports from India is the United States ($258 million), Nepal ($58.9 million), Iran ($42.3 million), Bangladesh ($39.2 million), and Canada ($33.3 million). The fastest-growing export markets for Soybean Meal in India between 2019 and 2020 were the United States ($62.2 million), the Netherlands ($15.7 million), and the United Kingdom ($15.1 million).

According to the Agflow data, India imported 0.2 million tons of Soybean Meal from Argentina in 2022, followed by Brazil (0.1 million tons). In 2020, India imported Soybean Meal worth $11.8 million from Nigeria, the United States, Ethiopia, and the United Arab Emirates.   

Other sources: USDA

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