India's Poultry Feed Demand to Rise in 2014

INDIA - India's rising appetite for poultry products will boost domestic demand for animal feeds corn and soymeal this year by about 9 per cent, traders said on Thursday.
calendar icon 20 February 2014
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According to The Economic Times, the higher local feed demand could further reduce overseas sales that are already under pressure from cheaper grains from Latin America. India, however, is still the leading seller of corn and soymeal in Southeast Asian markets. Domestic demand for the two main feed grains are expected to rise by nine per cent to 12 million tonnes as demand for products such as eggs and chickens rises in India, the world's fifth biggest producer of broilers.

Corn will make up most of the feed demand growth because supplies are ample and prices cheaper. Demand for soymeal may not rise as prices surged after late rains hit the soybean crop.

"Consumption of feeds, mainly corn is expected to increase because demand for poultry products are likely to rise by at least six per cent this year," said Sanjeev Chintawar, Business Manager, National Egg Coordination Committee.

Demand for corn could rise by at least one million tonnes to nine million tonnes this year; demand for soymeal is seen almost flat at 3 million tonnes. In domestic markets, corn was quoted at 12,000-13,000 rupees ($193-$209) per tonne, much cheaper than soymeal at 34,500 rupees ($554) per tonne. Soymeal prices are up 18 per cent from a year earlier due to the poor harvest.

"We expect about one million tonnes per month demand for corn and soymeal over the next two months," said Ricky Thaper, an official of the Poultry Federation of India. He said the monthly demand for corn would be 750,000-800,000 tonnes, while demand for soymeal would be 200,000-250,00 tonnes.

Mr Thaper said demand for poultry products is growing seven to eight per cent a year due to preference for cheap sources of animal protein in Asia's third largest economy. Poultry is the leading animal protein in India as beef and pork are discarded due to religious reasons despite lower prices. Fish and lamb are available but more highly priced.

India's per capita chicken meat consumption is 3.1 per kilogram against the global average of 10.5 kg. Traders expect the consumption to nearly triple to 9.1 kg by 2030.

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