India Soybean Meal Exports: Revised and Rebounding

This month, based on official export statistics published by the Government of India (GOI), USDA has made historical revisions of Indian meal and oil trade estimates beginning in MY1999/2000. These revisions stem from the improvement in quality and timeliness of GOI data, verified by other data sources that are used for estimation. Accompanying revisions for meal and oil production, consumption, and stock numbers have been made as well.

The newly adopted data series from GOI sheds more light on the potential of India soybean meal exports in MY2016/17, as it looks to recapture market share lost from the lean years of MY2014/15 and MY2015/16. India has lost more than 90 percent of its global soybean meal exports compared to 3 years ago, especially in adjacent markets (Bangladesh, and Pakistan), and regional markets in South East (Myanmar, Indonesia, and Thailand) and East Asia (South Korea and Japan). India will also be looking to rekindle sales to former top destinations such as the European Union and Iran, which have imported only a fraction of what they used to several years ago. Globally, the market share that was lost by India has been mostly filled by exports from the Brazil and Argentina.

With a larger harvest and growing crush leading to greater exportable supplies, India soybean meal exports are forecast to rise to 1.8 MMT in MY2016/17, mainly with smaller loads to nearby markets where its competitive advantage lies. While Indian meal exporters have newfound opportunities in niche markets with non-biotech demand, they face considerable competition in more traditional markets such as the European Union and East Asia.


Global oilseed production is forecast higher this month, primarily on larger cottonseed and rapeseed crops. Global soybean production is lowered on reduced harvests in Bolivia, Uruguay, and the United States more than offsetting gains in Brazil, China, and Russia. Soybean imports are projected higher this month on stronger demand from Argentina. Exports are up on higher shipments from Brazil exceeding lower trade from Bolivia and Uruguay. Global soybean stocks are lowered this month, led by the United States and Argentina. The U.S. season-average farm price is raised 5 cents to $9.50 per bushel.


U.S. export bids in December, FOB Gulf, averaged $395/ton, up $4 from last month.

For the week ending January 5, U.S. 2016/17 soybean export commitments (outstanding sales plus accumulated exports) to China totaled 31.7 million tons compared to 24.2 million a year ago. Total commitments to the world are 48.3 million tons, compared to 39.0 million for the same period last year.


  • United States
    • Soybean imports are lowered 137,000 tons to 680,000 on trade trends.
    • Soybean meal exports are lowered 182,000 tons to 10.5 million on lower exportable supplies.
    • Rapeseed meal imports are raised 165,000 tons to 3.8 million on trade pace.
  • Argentina
    • Soybean imports are raised 700,000 tons to 1.0 million on growing imports from neighboring markets.
    • Soybean meal exports are up 700,000 tons to 32.3 million on stronger global demand and limited early season competition.
    • Soybean oil exports are up 100,000 tons to 5.7 million reflecting stronger global demand.
  • Bolivia
    • Soybean exports are slashed 150,000 tons to zero, due to reduced supplies in response to drought conditions.
    • Soybean meal exports are cut 345,000 tons to 1.5 million and soybean oil exports are reduced 100,000 tons to 320,000 on reduced crush prospects with lower supplies.
  • Brazil soybean exports are boosted 1.1 million tons to 59.5 million on a larger production forecast.
  • Canada
    • Rapeseed exports are reduced 200,000 tons to 9.5 million on weaker demand from China.
    • Rapeseed meal exports are up 325,000 tons to 4.4 million on a surge in exports to China.
    • Rapeseed oil exports are raised 270,000 tons to 3.2 million, reflecting stronger global demand including the United States.
  • China
    • Rapeseed imports are down 200,000 tons to 3.6 million on a slower pace of trade as well as a growing supply of domestic rapeseed oil entering the market from state reserves.
    • Rapeseed meal imports are raised 100,000 tons to 200,000 on reduced crush.
    • Soybean oil imports are reduced 200,000 tons to 620,000 on the slower pace of trade in the first quarter of the marketing year.
  • Egypt palm oil imports are cut 100,000 tons to 1.5 million reflecting increasing prices and reduced demand.
  • Pakistan palm oil imports are down 200,000 tons to 3.1 million on reduced demand.
  • Uruguay soybean exports are reduced 300,000 tons to 2.5 million reflecting lower production.

2015/16 TRADE CHANGES(select countries – based on trade data)

  • Australia cottonseed exports are raised 100,000 tons to 220,000.
  • Egypt palm oil imports are down 115,000 tons to 1.2 million.
  • European Union
    • Soybean imports are up 276,000 tons to 15.0 million.
    • Soybean meal imports are raised 233,000 tons to 19.2 million.
  • India palm oil imports are up 125,000 tons to 8.9 million.
  • Indonesia palm oil exports are reduced 300,000 tons to 23.0 million.
  • Pakistan palm oil imports are down 200,000 tons to 2.8 million.
  • Uruguay soybean exports are up 225,000 tons to 2.1 million.