CHINA, which has drastically cut down soyameal imports from India in the early part of the current year, has again turned to India for the animal feed. During the period, it was largely dependent on the US for getting soyameal. But with the freight of soyameal cargo from the US on the rise, it has booked 70,000-80,000 tonnes of soyameal from India for shipment between October and November this year.
During the first five months of the current fiscal (April-August), China totally bypassed India while sourcing soyameal and purchased only some 65,175 tonnes of rapeseed meal from India. This was too a small buy from India because during the corresponding period last year, its import of rapeseed meal recorded at 262,465 tonnes.
Industry sources said China booked soyameal for October-November delivery at $310-330 a tonne, which was $100 less than the freight cost for bringing it from the US and other south American countries. If this price differential continues, China is expected to purchase another 100,000 tonnes of soyameal from India in the last quarter of the current fiscal. Piggeries in China are mainly driving up demand for animal feed in China.
Apart from the higher freight rate, Chinese soyameal importers are worried about quarantine authorities who have stepped up inspection of soyameal cargoes from the US and Argentina in a possible trade backlash following a massive recall of Mattel toys made in China, they say.
Vietnam nonetheless continues to remain India’s largest market for all types of oilmeal. Its import of oilmeal from India increased 11% to 382,600 tonne in April-August 2007. According to the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA), it purchased from India 277,950 tonnes of soyameal, 24,975 tonnes of rapeseed meal and entire quantity of 79,200 tonnes of ricebran extraction in that period.