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Ban on soybean meal export sought

18 September 2021

Staff Reporter  :
Feed Industries Association Bangladesh (FIAB) has appealed to the government to impose a ban on export of soybean meal in order to protect the local industry and bring down the prices of the essential ingredient used to produce poultry and cattle feed.
The association made the appeal in a recent letter to the Commerce Ministry.
Admitting the matter, FIAB General Secretary Ahsanuzzaman, said during the past two months, there has been a steep increase in price of soybean meal, mainly due to export of the product to the neighbouring countries.
He said, "Soybean meal prices have risen several times this year due to global production and supply shortages. But market price of the ingredient has gone up significantly following its export."
Recently, the country's two private companies
 exported more than 1,000 tonnes of soybean meal to India and Nepal.
According to FIAB, soya meal price has been increased by Tk 25 to Tk 30 per kg in the last one-year. It is now selling at Tk 55-Tk57 (per kg), which was Tk 44-Tk45 (per kg) a month.
There are a total of 250 feed mills in the country, which have been producing poultry, fish and cattle feed. Of them, 91 are the active members of FIAB.
More than 100,000 people are employed in the poultry feed mills. The total amount of investment in the poultry feed production sector is now about Tk 12,000 crore.
Besides, the annual demand of soybean meal (soybean oil cake) in the country is 18-20 lakh tones. But, the current supply of the ingredient is not enough to meet the demand of domestic feed industry. In this situation, the export soya meal widens the demand-supply gap and pushes up its market prices, according to industry insiders.
"As a result, prices of poultry, fish and cattle feed have gone up. Farmers are suffering because they have to buy at almost double of the price. This also causes a sharp rise in input cost in the poultry industry," said FIAB General Secretary Ahsanuzzaman.   
For poultry feed, maize and soybean meal are the two essential ingredients.
Feed producers mix 30 per cent of soybean meal, the protein rich solid mass left over when oil is extracted from the soyabean seed, with 60-65 per cent maize and five per cent minerals/vitamins to form poultry and other animal feed.
Of them, soyabean meal is the preferred protein source as birds are able to digest it easier.
Ahsanuzzaman said soybean prices have risen in the international market due to crop failure in the main producing nations of Brazil and Argentina. It has led to a rise in soybean meal prices also. Such a development hit the local feed industry, as 50 per cent of soybean oil cake is imported from abroad.
"In this situation, we urge the government to impose an mediate ban on exports of soybean meal in a bid to arrest the up ward trend in its prices and protect the interest of local feed industry as well as poultry farmers and consumers," he added.

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