Industry body Soyabean Processors’ Association of India (SOPA) has strongly opposed the demand of the poultry industry for extension of shipment period for import of soyameal, a by-product of soybean processing for manufacturing oil, upto March 31, 2022. SOPA has claimed that the demand and supply situation of soyameal in the country is comfortable as domestic soyabean production has increased by 15%. “There is a very comfortable demand and supply situation for soybean meal in the country. There is no need to import. The current soybean meal consumption figures given by the poultry industry are unrealistic and inflated. We never imported soybean meal in the past and have been meeting the entire demand locally. Even in the years when the soybean crop was low, imports were not required.

For the demand to have suddenly jumped to 90 lakh tons as mentioned by one of the representatives of the poultry industry is without any basis,” wrote SOPA to the central government in a note. The poultry industry was allowed to import 12 lakh tonnes of genetically modified (GM) soyameal for the first time ever as prices of domestic soyameal had shot up to Rs 10,000/quintal. The poultry industry had expected the domestic prices to cool down once the arrival of the new kharif crop started and hence it did not import the entire quota of 12 lakh tonnes. Now, that the domestic prices still continue to rule above the minimum support price (MSP) levels, the Poultry Breeders’ Association has asked for extension of the shipment date to March 31 from October 31 so as to import the balance quantity from the 12 lakh tone quota.

In the meeting of the Price Monitoring Committee for soyabeans held in the previous week, SOPA said, “Rise in soybean prices is not in the hands of soybean processors and it is not because of anything done by the processing industry. We have already flagged the issue of hoarding and undue speculation of soybean futures. If immediate action is taken on these issues, we hope the prices will cool down to reasonable levels. Farmers cannot be forced to sell soybean at MSP as desired by the poultry industry.”

The poultry industry demand for import of soybean meal is because of lower prices of meal abroad. “Soybean is raw material for the soy processing industry and meal prices are wholly dependent on soybean prices. To help one industry, another linked industry should not be forced to close down.
If soybean meal is allowed to be imported just because soybean meal prices are higher than imported meal prices, the soybean industry will have no market and there will be no outlet for soybean also,” SOPA’s note added. Price of imported soyabean meal of GM origin price is US$ 385 FOB (free on board), while the price of imported soyabean price of GM origin is US$ 500/- FOB. According to SOPA, the price of non-GM soyabean meal in India is Rs. 60000 (US$ 800) per tonne and the price of non-GM soyabean in India is Rs. 67000 (US$ 900) per tonne. “Any decision for extending the period for import of GM soybean meal should be taken, considering the comparative prices of raw material. There is no justification for import of soybean meal, with our crop being higher by 15% this year and 5 to 6 lakh tons of soybean meal already imported this year,” said SOPA. Source: