WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S.  — India’s soybean production for 2019-20 has been revised lower based on preliminary crop observations, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).

Production is estimated at 10.5 million tonnes on 11.2 million hectares. Yield will be below last year’s level of 1 tonne per hectare due to weather conditions, the FAS said.

Heavy rainfall may harm short-duration cultivars that were in their reproductive stage. Late planted and long-duration soybean cultivars, however, may benefit from recent heavy rainfall activity, if excessive rains do not continue, the FAS said.

A strong market price and a higher minimum support price likely encouraged additional oilseed planting in anticipation of higher returns, stable yields and lower crop maintenance compared to cotton.

The out-year oilmeal export was lowered 6.2% to 3 million tonnes due to the availability of soybeans and strong domestic demand for animal feed.

Exports will include 2 million tonnes of soymeal, slightly less than 1 million tonnes of rapeseed meal and some peanut meal.

During the first 10 months of 2018-19, total oilmeal exports increased 8% to 2.3 million tonnes.

Soybean meal exports slid in the last four months and are likely to stay subdued through September 2019 due to poor overseas demand and uncompetitive pricing, the FAS said.

“However, Indian soymeal may appeal to those who are willing to pay a more for the non-genetically modified tag and shorter transit time,” the agency said.