The United States, which is the world’s second-leading soybean producer, is now the biggest importer of India’s non-GMO soybean meal.
In an interview with the Indian website MoneyControl, B.V. Mehta, executive director of Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEA), said: “Indian soymeal is given priority in the U.S. since it needs non-GM soybean. Hardly five percent of the soybean crop in the U.S. is non-GMO, and those who want non-GMO soy products there have to pay a premium. That way, the Indian soymeal is competitive (and gets bought).”
According to SEA data, India’s soymeal exports to the U.S. increased by 19.5% in the first half of the current fiscal year to 131,000 tons. Soymeal exports to the U.S. account for nearly one-third of India’s total soymeal exports.
In the U.S., non-GMO soybean meal is used primarily as feed for chickens.
According to Soybean Processors Association of India chairman Davish Jain, the U.S. had previously been buying Indian non-GMO soybeans but is now importing soybean meal.
“Only India produces soymeal for special food applications that need to be labelled as non-GM or organic in the U.S. Indian soymeal helps in making cakes without chemicals and hexane,” Jain said.
India’s non-GMO soymeal is being shipped at $479 per ton.
Mehta said that India’s non-GMO soymeal is also in demand in Europe and Canada.
India’s annual soybean production, which is all non-GMO, is estimated at 12.4 million tons. This is compared to the U.S.’s 116.2 million tons, while Brazil, the world’s leading soybean producer, produces 132 million tons.
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