soybean field

USSEC is Optimistic with Results of India’s First Buyers – Sellers Meet

USSEC hosted the first national level commercial meeting for marketing opportunities in India at the Radisson Hotel in Indore from May 2-4.  The buyers – sellers meet was convened in the backdrop of increasing domestic consumption and concerns of domestic availability, rising prices and other trade related issues.  USSEC stressed the importance of bringing together all partners in the soy value chain to deliberate emerging issues and concerns in order to develop solutions leading to sustainable growth in domestic soy consumption.  Indian stakeholders no longer consider soybeans to be an oilseed crop, but now largely recognize soy as a protein crop intended to provide wholesome food and feed products at affordable prices.  Soybean meal and defatted soy flour are now considered co-products and not by-products of soy processing.

Approximately 110 feed utilization members from throughout India came to seek solutions on soy for their business operations and take away tools for raw material management.  National feed interests were represented by influential companies such as the Compound Livestock Feed Manufacturers Association (CLFMA), National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC) and several large soy buyers such as Suguna Foods, Ananda Fisheries and Venkys.  The major meal utilization sectors (broiler, layer and aquaculture), which collectively comprise about 4 million metric tons (MMT) annually, were also well-represented at the two-day event.  The opportunity for feed representatives to interface with top crushers in addition to leading traders facilitated valuable networking opportunities throughout these meetings.  Discussions with India’s feed utilization members helped create a clearer understanding on expectations of S&D, quality concerns, tools required for managing raw materials in the future, and further opportunities.  Utilizing soy will help feed representatives run animal production businesses successfully and in a sustained manner.
The USSEC team facilitated talks strengthening trade linkages between buyers and sellers with the expectation of leading to sound market development pathways in the future.  The views of the country's leading trade organizations further added to the interactions and understanding of the soy complex in India.  These trade associations recognized the domestic potential and made recommendations to sellers to explore this potential sector and use it to sustain their businesses.
There was a significant shift in the focus of all stakeholders from crush for oil and export of soybean meal (SBM) to crush for meal and increased domestic consumption.  Virtually all participants spoke of the need to enhance the quality of soymeal to be able to utilize more SBM in further value-added products.  Investment interest ranged from the feasibility of producing high value ingredients such as soy protein isolates and concentrates to textured soy proteins, as well as marketing high quality food grade defatted soy flour.  Near unanimity was seen with the various stakeholders in relation to the soy balance sheet as well as with future projections of domestic utilization of soy in India.
Feedback from large processors was unambiguous in relation to the future growth and market access of value-added soy foods.  These processors are actively seeking engagement with USSEC resources to assist with capacity and trade building processes.  Utilization food companies have long seen the need to improve the quality specifications of soy flour to meet the user industry needs.  ITC, the largest user of defatted soy flour for fortification of wheat flour, indicated that the utilization of soy flour in multigrain flour could double if the quality of soy flour is improved. The crushers / sellers appreciated the market needs for quality products and assured that they would make necessary improvements to soy flour as soon as possible.  Similar discussions took place between Dal Analogue producers and large institutional consumers such as school meal providers to partner together for delivering better protein nutrition at affordable prices.
USSEC is very pleased with the discussion initiated at this inaugural buyers – sellers meet.  The meetings provided an appropriate platform for stakeholder conversations and were conducive for frank deliberations between all partners to arrive at solutions for accomplishing sustainable domestic consumption through value-added soy food and feed products.