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India's Farmers Ramp up Production as Feed Prices Fall

by 5m Editor
30 September 2009, at 8:50a.m.

INDIA - Industry watchers expect a record high soy harvest and good maize production to help lower poultry feed prices.

Poultry feed prices have declined during last few weeks due to significant reduction of soybean meal prices during last month, mainly in anticipation of a bumper soy crop this year.

Financial Express of India reports that soybean meal prices, a key component of poultry feed, in the wholesale market in Delhi declined to 17,200 rupees (INR) per tonne yesterday (on 29 September) from INR 18,700 a month ago – a decline of close to nine per cent. An industry source said prices might fall further after the new crop enters the market over the next few weeks.

Similarly, corn prices has stabilised at around INR 10,200 per tonne at present while it rose to more than INR 11,800 a month ago. Soybean meal and corn are the key ingredient of poultry feed. Consequently, feed price has fallen to around INR 17,000 per tonne from INR 19,000 last month, a decline of close to 12 per cent.

According to the Soyabean Processors Association of India (SOPA), soybean production would be around 9.7 million against 9.5 million achieved last year. This year, better yield is expected from Madhya Pradesh as crop in Maharashtra's Vidarbha region has been affected due to deficient rainfall.

Furthermore, lower prices of soybean meal on the global market may impact exports, which in turn would ensure supply to poultry industry.

"Lower feed prices, along with the rise in demand for the poultry products after Navaratras, would help the farmers, who had been adversely impacted by the volatility in the feed prices," Ricky Thaper, spokesperson, Poultry Federation of India, told Financial Express.

A senior official with Directorate of Maize Research, under the Indian Council for Agricultural Research, said due to recent showers and introduction of single cross hybrids, the kharif maize production in the country is expected to achieve last year's production of 18.5 million tonne. The kharif crop accounts for about 80 per cent of India's total maize production.

According to ministry of agriculture data released on 10 September, maize acreage has increased to 7.03 million hectares from 6.95 million hectares last year.

Poultry industry sources said broiler prices in the North has increased from INR 68 per kilo live weight against INR 58 prevailing a month ago. With the demand for poultry products set to increase during the next few weeks, farmers have geared up for higher sales.