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Scope for Indian Oilseed Meal, Cotton, Maize

According to companies and traders, the trade war between the US and China could provide opportunities for Indian oilseed meal, cotton and maize producers in the Asian country’s market.

Head of research for Edelweiss Agri Value Chain Ltd, Prerana Desai said, “If the export price remains competitive, a small window for agri-exports could open for Indian exporters of oilseed meals - soyameal - and mustard, cotton and maize. We have some stock and with China the largest consumer and importer, we have a market to tap.”

China imposed new tariffs of up to 25% on 106 US products on Wednesday after earlier increasing tariffs on 128 US products, stepping up a trade war between the two largest economies. The US Trade Representative had announced a 25% tariff on 1,300 Chinese products.

Industry experts said that, India, the second-largest exporter of cotton after the US, can benefit, said traders and analysts. Of the 5 million bales of cotton imported by China, 40% was from the US.

The president of the Cotton Association of India, Atul Ganatra said, “With China imposing 25% duty on cotton from the US, we can leverage our position. There is no duty on import of Indian cotton in China and hence we will be cheaper than US cotton.” In the past, India exported over 40 lakh bales to China compared with the current figure of 6-7 lakh bales. Also Anand Popat of the Saurashtra Ginners Association said Indian cotton was priced competitively compared with Australian and African cotton.

The US may look to buy textile goods from India as the duty it imposed on China garments was about 25%, Ganatra said. “So for India, it is a win-win situation,” he said. Soyabean is another commodity that India would be able to supply to the Chinese market once it remove restrictions on Indian soyameal trade, companies said. Currently, the US meets 39% of China’s total demand of 93.4 million tonnes of soyabean.

The Ministry of Commerce & Industry is taking up the issue with China to remove restrictions on Indian soymeal trade. Also, we see new markets in Japan, South Korea and Vietnam, where the Chinese were exporting in small quantities,” said Davish Jain, chairman of the Soybean Processors Association of India.

Spokesperson of the All India Meat & Livestock Exporters Association, Fauzan Alavi said that, exporters of frozen buffalo meat see an opportunity of $4billion and more if China allows direct shipments. India and China signed agreements twice to allow buffalo meat imports into China but the matter is still pending on the Chinese side.


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