The domestic consumption growth for soybean meal is attributed to the increasing appetite for eggs, poultry meat, and fish which has resulted in an increase in the broiler, layer, and aquaculture production. Poultry meat production constitutes 50% of India’s total meat production.
In the last three decades, India has rapidly transited from backyard to commercial poultry. The organized commercial sector takes 80% of the total market share while the unorganized takes 20% share.
India’s poultry sector is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8% in the next five years to reach $5 Billion. Egg production in India increased from 1.83 billion in 1950-51 to 122.11 billion eggs in 2020-21. India’s shrimp production grew at a CAGR of 22.5% in the past decade to reach 9.37 lakh metric tonnes (MT).
The huge growth in poultry meat and eggs consumption is attributed to the increase in urbanization, increase in per capita income and the changing food habits of people towards more protein-rich food.
In recent days, plant-based protein foods are also gaining attraction among consumers and are one of the fastest growing due to their perceived health benefits, including the prevention or reduction in risk of non-communicable diseases, digestive disorders, and obesity.
Hence, the usage of soybean meal is increasing in the domestic feed industry and plant protein industry which would further result in lower soybean meal exports from India.
Another reason for fading soybean meal exports from India is the price disparity in the International market of Indian soybean meal in comparison to the South American origin soybean meal. Also, the presence of sand and silica in Indian soybean meal degrades its value in destination countries.
In 2021, India also imported soybean meal of around 6.5 Lakh MT as the poultry industry was reeling from a surge in local prices of the soybean meal. This was for the first time the Indian government allowed genetically modified soybean meal imports.
In the ongoing marketing year 2022-23, soybean meal export from October to November 2022 was 2 lakh MT, higher by 48% from the same period last year. The total export commitment to date was around 2.5 to 3 Lakh MT.
Chart: India Soybean Meal Exports Vs Domestic Consumption
(The author is
Senior, Manager- Commodity Research, Origo Commodities)