NEW DELHI, INDIA — India’s oilseed production in 2019-20 is forecast to rise by 8% over the previous year, assuming normal weather conditions, according to an April 19 Global Agricultural Information Network report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The anticipated rise in oilseed supply will increase oilseed meal production by 5.5% to 18 million tonnes, leaving some 3 million tonnes for export sales after accounting for local consumption, the USDA said.

The agency said the rise in oilseed meal production is “mostly due to a rise in demand for animal feed matched by an anticipated rise in oilseed supply.”

“Assuming normal market conditions and competitive pricing, total oil meal exports should rise 10% to 3.2 million tonnes,” the USDA said.

The USDA noted that India’s agricultural policy leaders need to focus on ways to address the country’s ever-increasing demand for vegetable oils.

“At the same time, India needs research and development efforts to improve domestic oilseed productivity, which will reduce the amount of foreign exchange used for imports, which is currently almost 70% of India’s vegetable oil demand,” the USDA said.