INDIA- India’s soybean production for the marketing year 2023-24, spanning from October to September, is projected to reach 12 million tonnes from 12.8 million hectares, according to a report from the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the US Department of Agriculture. 

This upward revision follows initial estimates of 11.9 million tonnes in the previous forecast, where unpredictable rainfall linked to El Niño conditions during the soybean planting season for the 2023-24 crop was taken into consideration. 

Despite the adjustment, the current forecast falls short of the 12.4 million tonnes harvested in 2022-23.

The FAS report highlighted the wildcard factor of El Niño for India’s agricultural landscape, with experts predicting a more significant impact in 2024 that could affect various crops, including oilseeds. 

The uncertainty arises from the fact that El Niño has not consistently led to a lack of monsoon in India.

Soybean oil production in India for the upcoming year is estimated at 1.7 million tonnes, a slight decrease from 2022-23 but still at a relatively high level due to consistent yields and a stable supply of oilseeds used for “crush-to-oil” over the past two years. 

Despite minimal soybean oil exports due to higher domestic demand for feed and food, the import of edible oils in 2023-24 has decreased from nearly 17 million tonnes in 2022-23 to 15 million tonnes. 

The top three vegetable oil imports—palm, soybean, and sunflower seed—have decreased by 6.5%, 15.4%, and 6.9%, respectively, influenced by geopolitical-economic dynamics and increased domestic production goals in India.

India’s soymeal production forecast for 2023-24 is 7.55 million tonnes, a decrease from 8.28 million tonnes in 2022-23, reflecting the lower soybean oilseed production in the current marketing year. 

However, the current forecast remains notably higher than the 6.8 million tonnes produced in 2021-22.

Soybean stocks for 2023-24 are anticipated to end higher at 1.4 million tonnes, as farmers are expected to retain soybean oilseeds to benefit from favorable pricing. The crush is forecasted at 9.8 million tonnes, representing a 5% decrease compared to 2022-23. 

The agricultural landscape in India faces uncertainties, but the revised outlook suggests resilience and adaptability within the sector.

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