Indian Soybean Meal Position in the Market


Sep 30, 2022 | Agricultural Markets News

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How Does the Hot 2022 Summer Affect Indian Soybean Meal Yields ?

So far, the Soybean Meal production has decreased by 160 KMT between 21/22 and  22/23. This is due to high temperatures, which exceeded 40°C in June 2022, which occurred during a particularly sensitive season with regards to crop’s growth. However, the production is slightly higher compared to that of 19/20 and 20/21, which is explained by the increase in Soybean planted area since last year. Yet, with the Indian government allowing imports of genetically modified Soybean Meal, the country’s dependence on Soybean Meal is becoming alarming. On the other hand, Brazilian production is increasing, and Indian imports of Brazil Soybean Meal rose to 85  KMT (which has doubled since last year)

Figure 1: India Soybean Meal Production by Marketing Year Between 2018 & 2022

India Soybean Meal Production

Track Production, Crush, Exports, & Up to 9 Other India Soybean Meal S&D Metrics Since 2015



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Where Does India Stand in the World Soybean Meal Production?

While Soybean Meal yields in India are low this year, Brazil continues to lead the world in Soybean Meal production after China and the United States. Brazil has shown a positive trend in Soybean Meal production over the past 5 years, increasing production by 4.916 MMT between 2018 and 2023. Argentina’s production fluctuated over the past 5 years, but it is still above 30 MMT.  The weather in Argentina is favourable for Soybean Meal production, the summer season is rainy with low temperatures, and the maximum temperature reached this summer was 16°C in late August. Unlike India, which has high temperatures in summer (more than 40°C in June 2022), hindering Soybean Meal production. Brazil and Argentina are India’s main suppliers of Soybean Meal. Total imported volumes increased by 373 KMT between 2018 and 2022, and the largest part of these volumes originates from Argentina.

Figure 2 : Argentina, Brazil and India Soybean Meal Production Between 2018 & 2023

Soybean Meal Production in Argentina, Brazil and India Between 2018 & 2023

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& Up to 74 countries



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GMO Soybean Meal Imports to India Affect local Producers

India’s dependence on Soybean Meal imports has shown a positive trend over the past five years. Since 2021, import volumes from Argentina have increased by 158 KMT, and from Brazil by 73 KMT in one year. Not only have the quantities imported by India increased, but the land used for Soybean Meal production has increased since last year. Yet, the yield of Indian Soybean Meal is lower than expected, which could explain the high demand for imported supplements. Nevertheless, the increase in imports is not only due to the low yields, but also to the Indian government allowing imports of GMO Soybean Meal to supplement the Poultry feed sector. However, this represents unfair competition for local producers who do not produce GMO Soybeans, as SOPA claims. Yet India still has the potential to export Soybean Meal, reaching 207 KMT of exports since last year, which is almost half the imported volumes. The main importers of Indian Soybean Meal are France, Egypt, Spain, and South Korea.

Figure 3: Considerable Increase in India Soybean Meal Imports From Argentina
& Brazil Between 2018 & 2023

Indian Soybean Meal Imports from Argentina and Brazil Between 2018 & 2023

 Track Soybean Meal Cargos From Argentina
& Brazil Up to 74 countries



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India at The Forefront of  The World Market Strategies for Soybeans and Soybeans Derivatives Production.

India is a major producer of Soybean and its derivatives. Production is mainly distributed on the local market. Indian Soybean and Soybean Oil exports are not significant, while Soybean Meal exports remain significant, reaching 207 KMT between 2021 & 2022. The volume of India Soybean Crush is about 8.79 MMT on average, this amount is almost the total volume of Soybean produced. Besides, Argentina’s Soybean Crush is four-fifths of the total Soybean production, illustrating its strategy to supply the world with Soybean derivatives. On the other hand, Brazil produces 249 MMT of Soybean, and only a third of this production goes for processing.  Moreover, while India Soybean Meal production declined since last year, Soybean Oil extraction increased by 5.4 MMT from the same volumes of Crush. This could be explained by the correlation between high temperatures and the yield of Soybean Meal and Oil, as this year’s hot summer in India was favourable for Soybean Oil saturation and was not efficient for Soybean Meal yield.

Figure 4: India Soybean and Soybean Derivatives Yields Between 2018 & 2023

Indian Soybean and Soybean Derivatives Production

Track Production, Crush, Exports, & Up to 9 Other Argentina & Brazil Soybean S&D Metrics Since 2015



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In a Nutshell

India has been increasing its Soybean land since 2021 to meet the high market demand. However, the temperatures in the summer of 2022 exceeded 30°C, which was not favourable for Soybean Meal yields.  As a result, this year’s imports have increased drastically compared to the past four years.

Despite the high level of imports, India Soybean Meal exports are almost half of the imported volumes. which says that local farmers have additional volumes that can be used to supply the market, but the Poultry industry; which is a big consumer of Soybean Meal, is dependent on genetically modified Soybean Meal that is produced in Argentina and Brazil, as it costs less. Since 2018, Dr. Davish Jain, president of the Soybean Processors Association of India, has been writing to the Indian government to increase import duties on Oilseeds, as this affects farmers’ competitiveness in the local market. Nevertheless, the government has allowed more imports this year.

Argentina is the main supplier to the Indian Soybean Meal market, followed by Brazil. In addition to being one of the main producers of GMO Soybean. Argentina devotes most of its Soybean production to processing, which makes it the world’s largest exporter of Soybean Meal and Oil. Soybeans Crushing can be a potential market for small scale producers in developing countries, such as India.