India’s Soybean Production Forecast for MY 2013/14 Reduced to 12.0 MMT

Post reduces India’s 2013 monsoon (kharif) season soybean production estimates to 12.0 MMT, a decrease of 11 percent from the previous estimate, which assumed favorable weather conditions through September and October. Soybean yields and bean quality, particularly for late planted soybeans, were impacted by excessive late season precipitation and cloud cover in western Madhya Pradesh, eastern Rajasthan and the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. Despite this revision, Indian soybean production should remain seven percent higher over 2012.

Current Winter Season Oilseed Planting up Three Percent over 2012; Production Estimates Unchanged

As of the date of publication, planting remains underway for winter (rabi) season oilseed crops. The Ministry of Agriculture’s (MOA) most recent planting report for the on-going rabi season indicates that the combined area planted for sunflower, peanut, rapeseed and mustard is currently 7.3 MHA, an increase of three percent over the corresponding period in 2012. To date, rabi area planted for rapeseed and mustard acreage has increased by five percent over the same period last year at 6.7 MHA. This increase is driven by favorable weather and planting conditions across Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh. Conversely, the MOA reports that current rabi area planted for sunflower is 320,000 hectares, a decrease of over 18 percent from the corresponding period in 2012. Current area planted to peanuts is 322,000 hectares.

Assuming normal rabi cropping conditions, total oilseed area planted in 2013 will be upwards of 13.0 MHA and total oilseed production is estimated at about14.0 MMT. Area and production forecasts for sunflower and peanut include production during kharif and rabi seasons. Rapeseed and mustard are only grown during India’s rabi season. Rapeseed and mustard will account for over half of all oilseed acreage at approximately 6.8 MHA. Production levels for rapeseed and mustard will be 7.1 MMT. Peanut area planted will be 5.4 MHA and peanut production will be upwards of 6.0 MMT. Sunflower estimates remain unchanged from previous estimates, with area planted at 850,000 hectares and production at 725,000 metric tons (MT).

Edible Oil Imports Forecast at Record 11.6 MMT

Total vegetable oil imports in MY 2012/13 increased six percent to 10.4 MMT. Population expansion and increasing incomes should drive 2013 vegetable oil imports to 11.6 MMT, up 11.5 percent over 2012. Palm oil will continue to lead edible oils at 78 percent of total imports for MY 2013/14.

Oil Meal Exports Forecasted Higher at 5.8 MMT

In MY 2012/13 India exported 5.2 MMT of oil meals, of which 83 percent was soymeal. These exports included shipments to neighboring countries via land transportation and bulk ocean freight shipments to various international destinations. Post expects that Indian oil meal prices in MY 2013/14 will be internationally competitive and exports will reach 5.8 MMT, an increase of seven percent over last year. Historically, 60 percent of India’s oil meal is exported and the remaining 40 percent is consumed domestically