BUSINESS Indian soybean growers seek opportunities amid US-China trade tension


Indian soybean growers seek opportunities amid US-China trade tension


01:32, August 09, 2018


(Video capture: CGTN)

Indian soybean growers are looking at trade tensions between China and the US as a golden opportunity. With China slapping a 25 percent duty on US soybean taking effect from July 6 this year, a new prospect has opened up for India. 

The trade tension between the US and China may escalate with soybean being the focal point and India is all set to make the best of this chance. 

India produces GM-free soybean, which has a niche advantage in the global market. India hopes that China will withdraw the quarantine ban on soybean and open up the market for more products. The Soybean Processors Association is pushing for lifting the ban and allowing them to export.

"We have market access but there is quarantine issue that we need to resolve. Our government is in touch with them and we have also made presentation for the ban to be removed and once that is done we are all set to go," said  D. N. Pathak, Executive Director of the Soybean Processors Association. 

But before India begins rolling, there are many hurdles still to be crossed. As far as prices are concerned, India faces tough competition from Latin American countries. Ajay Sahai, Director General of the Federation of Indian Exports Organization, says "the major supplier besides the US are the Latin American counties." 

"They have the currency advantage with them so even if the market access is given to India, first of all I am not sure how much volume will be there for exports and secondly we will be price competitive or not that is an issue," Ajay Sahai said.

Even through India does not have an exportable surplus yet, Indian industry players anticipate exports of $100 million worth of soybean meal. At the moment, India does not export soybean oil or soybean flour to China. There is a negligible export of oilcake export to China from India. 

India is also expecting a bumper crop of soybean this year. A delegation of the Soybean Processors Association of India is expected to visit China next month. They want to assuage Chinese quarantine concerns and ensure market availability for Indian soybean exporters. 

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