NEW DELHI, INDIA — Rising animal feed demand and the anticipated growth in oilseed supply is expected to further increase oilseed meal production in India to 20.7 million tonnes, a 2% increase over the 2021-22 crop, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Oil meal exports are forecast to rise 13% to 3.7 million tonnes, but India is expected to continue its reliance on imported edible oils to meet domestic demand as imports are forecast to increase by 6% over the 2021-22 estimate to 14.5 million tonnes.

These trade figures are boosted by a production outlook in 2022-23 of 42.1 million tonnes, a 1% increase over the current year’s estimate, according to the USDA.

“This expectation is based on near-normal yields, which are supported by a predicted normal southwest monsoon season (June through September), ample reservoir water storage levels, and availability of agricultural fertilizers,” the USDA said. “General momentum in oilseed plantings is predicted to continue in the forecast year with expectations of a higher minimum support price and global supply shortfalls.”

Assuming recovering market conditions and competitive pricing, India likely will leverage global oil meal supply shortfalls to its advantage, especially soybean and rapeseed meal, to increase exports toward traditional South Asian destinations, the report said.

The report noted that despite the Indian government’s prevailing narrative on self-sufficiency to increase domestic output and constrain edible oil imports, the trade impact from the Russian invasion of Ukraine and subsequent market speculation likely will compel India to rely on additional edible oil imports to be able to meet its customary high consumer demand.

To ensure sufficient domestic soft oil supply and reduce retail price volatility, the Indian government has routinely enacted stock limits, duty revisions and other related measures.