Oilseed production in India is forecast to increase in the 2020-21 season, World Grain reported on 20 July from forecasts made by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The USDA’s Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report forecast a 2% rise in oilseed production in India for 2020/21 to 38.4M tonnes. The figures covered the soyabean, rapeseed, mustard, peanut, sunflowerseed, cottonseed and copra sectors.

The rise in oilseed production, however, had been accompanied by an upward trend of imports over the last few years. In the 2018/19 season, the USDA said the country imported about 213,000 tonnes of soyabean, peanut and copra. In the first six months of market year 2019/20, imports had grown faster than in the corresponding period last year.

India had imported 114,000 tonnes of soyabean between October 2019 and February 2020, the USDA said, with most of the commodity used in the food sector.

Food use for oilseeds was forecast to increase by 10.3% to about 3M tonnes due to rebounding soyabean, peanut, rapeseed and mustard seed supply.

The improved oilseed production would also help increase oil meal production by 5.2% to a total of 17M tonnes.

India would export 2.5M tonnes of oil meal in the 2020/21 season, with strong consumption demand expected to put pressure on the country’s oil meal trade surplus, the USDA estimated.