Soyabean crop will be lower than the estimate of 13.83 million tonnes – SEA
The Indian Solvent Extractors’ Association (SEA) thinks that the soyabean crop will be lower than the government’s estimate of 13.83 million tonnes (mt).
In his monthly letters to SEA members, SEA President Atul Chaturvedi said that the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare’s third advance estimate for major crops put the oilseeds output at 38.5 mt. During the past year, it was at 35.95 mt.
He said this was good news and hoped that oilseed production would keep going up in the years to come. According to a government estimate, the soyabean crop is at 13.83 mt and the rape-mustard seed crop is at 11.75 mt.
SOPA’s trade estimate for soyabean is 11.9 mt, he said, but ‘many industry players believe the soyabean crop is much lower at 10 mt because they don’t see the pressure of market arrivals even at the high price of soyabean right now.’
He said that wheat and rice production in Punjab and Haryana, which is driven by the Minimum Support Price (MSP), has given farmers a ready market and a good return on their crops. But this has led to huge problems and a mismatch between demand and supply. Mountains of wheat and rice are making it hard for the country to store its food.
He said that some land in Punjab should be moved from the wheat/rice cycle to sunflower, maize, and rapeseed/mustard during the Kharif and rabi seasons. ‘We have to make sure farmers are properly encouraged by giving them better returns and a guaranteed market,’ he said. ‘Yellow Revolution’ can happen if we can persuade farmers in these north Indian states.
SEA would set up model farms in two districts of Punjab during the rabi season to show that switching from wheat to rape-mustard seed can be more profitable.
Inflation brought in
No country can be fuel-secure if it gets 85% of its fuel from just one place. With imports making up 65% of edible oil, food security is also seriously threatened.
He said that there are no quick fixes to deal with imported inflation, which has been caused by easy monetary policies and geopolitical problems around the world. He also said that high prices have destroyed some demand, which should help get the markets back to normal.
The message from the Prime Minister to work toward aatmanirbharta in fuel and edible oils is now being taken seriously by the ministries in charge. He said that the focus on biofuels, especially ethanol, and the implementation of the National Mission on Oilseeds should help India become less reliant on the rest of the world.
Storage control orders
He said that putting the storage control orders into effect gives officers too much power and leads to unnecessary harassment. ‘This goes against the Prime Minister’s stated goal of making it ‘easier to do business.’ We can’t figure out why edible oils are being targeted, since almost 65% of them are imported, which is exempt. ‘We hope and trust that this harsh law will be taken away as soon as possible,’ Chaturvedi said.
castor seed derivatives
Chaturvedi says that India makes between 1.8 and 2 million tonnes of castor seed and exports almost 700,000 tonnes of castor oil and about 150,000 tonnes of castor seed derivatives. This is enough to meet 90% of the world’s needs.
He said that the SEA Castor Seed and Oil Promotion Council has decided to make the Indian Castor Seed Sustainability Standard (INCASS) for products based on Indian conditions. The Sustainability Certificate will be given to the castor community by either SEA or its affiliated body.
He said that the SEA Castor Seed and Oil Promotion Council has set up a special committee to figure out how to implement the Castor Sustainability Standard within 3–6 months.
de-oiled rice bran
He said that the May 5 notice from the Union Commerce Ministry that APEDA would cover exports of de-oiled rice bran shocked SEA countries that process rice bran. Over the past 50 years, SEA has worked hard to promote the export of de-oiled rice bran, which has helped increase the processing and production of rice bran oil overall.
‘We don’t see why de-oiled rice bran should be moved from the SEA to the APEDA. The change will make it harder to focus and could affect how rice bran is processed, how rice bran oil is made, and how much de-oiled rice bran is exported,’ he said.