India drought creating animal feed shortage

Soybeans remain unharmed due to late rains in key growing regions

A drought in India is expected to create a shortage of coarse grains used in animal feed, according to the chief of the country’s weather office, resulting in a feed shortage during a time when growing demand for poultry and dairy products is increasing domestic use and affecting exports.

An import duty on oil-cake has been waived to ease supplies to the feed and edible oil industries. “The crop outlook for coarse cereals is not good, which will reduce fodder supply,” said L.S. Rathore, director-general of the India Meteorological Department. In the western state of Maharashtra, the country’s biggest sugar producer, the shortage of animal feed has caused farmers to sell cane to feed depots set up by the government. Lentils and coarse cereals such as millet are the most vulnerable, though soybean, the main summer-sown oilseed, is expected to be largely unharmed after late rain showers in key growing regions.Domestic prices of soymeal have more than doubled since May, while corn has increased by 25 percent. The weather office has said it is still too early to determine the drought effects on the winter-sown crops.