NEW DELHI, INDIA — Delayed and erratic rainfall has lowered estimates for India’s 2021-22 soybean crop but production totals are still slightly higher than last season, according to a report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture.

Production is estimated at 10.8 million tonnes, up from 10.45 million tonnes in 2020-21. 

According to the latest planting report, soybean planted area in Madhya Pradesh is 10% lower compared to the same period a year ago. The national average yield is estimated to reach 0.885 tonnes per hectare, slightly below last year’s level, but close to the five-year average.

Domestic soybean market prices have rallied above the MSP, peaking above $1,344 per tonne in mid-July. Accordingly, the FAS has revised its export estimates for 2020-21 to 100,000 tonnes, and the 2021-22 export forecast lowered to 200,000 tonnes to account for the lack of competitiveness of Indian soybeans in the global market. 

On Aug. 25, the Indian government approved a 1.2-million-tonne quota for soybean meal derived from genetically modified soybeans to address high animal feed prices impacting the industry. 

Cumulative oil meal exports in the October 2020 to July 2021 period grew 80% over the same period last year, with soybean meal exports alone climbing 168%.