Soybean-Meal Sales From India Drop Most in Six Months on Prices

Soybean-meal exports from India slumped 80 percent in April, the most since October, as higher domestic prices reduced demand for supplies from Asia’s biggest shipper.

Sales of the poultry feed slid to 18,017 metric tons from 89,883 tons in April 2014, the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India said in a statement e-mailed Thursday. Total oilseed-meal exports fell 35 percent to 162,306 tons, it said.

Soybean-meal exports from India may plunge to the lowest in more than two decades in the crop year started Oct. 1 as importers from Iran to Vietnam switch to cheaper supplies. The government has maintained support prices for soybeans even as futures in Chicago dropped 32 percent in the past year on record global harvests. That pushed rates in the South Asian nation above its main competitors Argentina, Brazil and the U.S.

“Soybean crushing is very much reduced due to continuous disparity and high prices in domestic market,” B.V. Mehta, executive director of the association, said in the statement. “The domestic demand for oilmeals has reduced adding to the woes of the industry. Capacity utilization is at the lowest and many plants are closing down.”

Prices of soybeans, meal and oil have declined as the global harvest climbs to a record 315.5 million tons in 2014-2015, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

Rapeseed meal exports in April dropped 45 percent to 69,398 tons in April from a year earlier, while castor seed meal exports jumped to 70,641 tons from 20,378 tons, the association said.