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Agriculture Asia

India confirms domestic crop slump amid import surge

India’s final estimate of the 2014/2015 crop year is confirming sharp downgrades to the country’s output of oilseeds and foodgrains as Indian importers race to fill a growing domestic supply hole in the country’s rapidly expanding demand.

Total Indian oilseed production is pegged at 26.68mn t, down 6.07mn t YoY or nearly 20%. The figure includes 6.31mn t of rape and mustard seed alongside 10.53mn t of soybeans and 6.56mnt of groundnuts.

India’s July imports of vegetable oils was the highest since 1994 at just over 1.5mn t for the month, up a whopping 36% YoY. Indian producers have blamed a tidal wave of cheap imports for driving domestic farmers out of business and leaving the country increasingly dependent on external supply, with around 70% of India’s vegetable oil consumption now sourced from foreign sellers.

India imported 262,000t of rapeseed oil in the nine months between November 2014 and July 2015, still small beer compared to the 6.8mn t of palm oil the country imported over the same period amid a nearly 22% import surge.

Total production of Indian foodgrains is pegged down 5% relative to the previous year’s output at 252.68mn t.

MS

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