NEW DEHLI, INDIA — Banking on favorable weather and expanding planting area India’s oilseed production is forecast to increase in the 2020-21 marketing year, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

India’s market year 2020-21 oilseed production, which includes soybean, rapeseed, mustard, peanut sunflower seed, cottonseed, and copra is projected to jump 2% to 38.4 million tonnes.

Despite an increase in oilseed production, the USDA has tracked an upward trend of imports over the last few years. In market year 2018-19 the country imported about 213,000 tonnes of soybean, peanut and copra. In the first six months of market year 2019-20, imports grew faster than in the corresponding period last year.

India has imported 114,000 tonnes of soybean between October 2019 and February 2020, the USDA said. The country is utilizing the commodity mostly for food use.

The USDA forecasts food use for oilseeds to increase 10.3% to about 3 million tonnes due to rebounding soybean, peanut, rapeseed and mustard seed supply.

The improved oilseed production will also buoy the oil meal production by 5.2% to a total of 17 million tonnes.

The USDA estimates India will export 2.5 million tonnes of oil meal in the 2020-21 market year. Strong consumption demand is expected to put pressure on India’s oil meal trade surplus.