MUMBAI - India's soymeal exports could more than double in 2020/21 after a rally in global prices to their highest in 6-1/2 years made shipments from the south Asian country lucrative for European and Asian buyers, four industry officials told Reuters.
Higher exports from India could trim shipments of South American soymeal into Asia and also support local soybean prices NSBc1 despite a bird flu outbreak hitting demand from the local feed industry.
India's soymeal exports could jump to more than 2 million tonnes in the 2020/21 year that started on Oct. 1, from 825,000 tonnes shipped the previous year, said Atul Chaturvedi, president of Solvent Extractors Association of India, a mills and refining industry body.
U.S. soymeal futures SMc1 hit a 6-1/2 years high this week on tightening supplies and robust demand from China.
"Bird flu in India is affecting local consumption. It is a big opportunity for Indian meal to go out of the country," Chaturvedi said.
Demand for poultry products has fallen in India after bird flu has been reported in 10 states.
"Soymeal exports fell last year as our prices were way above global benchmarks. Indian prices are now competitive as global prices have rallied," said Davish Jain, chairman of the Soybean Processors Association of India (SOPA).
Indian exporters were offering soymeal at $540 a tonne free on board, compared with more than $550 from South America, dealers said.
India is mainly exporting soymeal to Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Nepal and European countries, said Manoj Agrawal, managing director at exporter Maharashtra Oil Extractions.
The country could export about 600,000 tonnes of soymeal in January and February despite limited availably of containers slowing shipments, he said.
India exported 599,630 tonnes of soymeal in the December quarter, nearly 154% more than a year ago, SOPA said.
(Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav Editing by David Goodman) ((email@example.com; +91-22-68414378 ; Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org))