The government has imposed a ban on exporting soybean meal, a key ingredient of poultry and cattle feed, to protect the interests of the local dairy and poultry sectors.
The commerce ministry issued a notification in this regard on Tuesday, saying the ban would take effect today.
But soybean meal could be exported till October 20 against the letters of credit (LCs) or telegraphic transfers (TTs) settled until October 13, it said.
The notification said continuing soybean meal exports might extremely hamper the local production of cattle and poultry feed, causing feed prices to rise and ultimately affecting the livestock sector.
Bangladesh imports soybean meal, but responding to an oil refiners’ proposal in the face of soybean meal production crisis in India, the commerce ministry recently allowed the feed ingredient’s exports.
But the fisheries and livestock ministry and the livestock services department urged the ministry to ban exports.
The ministry then decided to impose the ban.
The ban has brought farmers, entrepreneurs, and feed manufacturers relief as they expect soybean meal prices to come down soon. They also
thanked the commerce ministry for the decision.
Feed Industries Association of Bangladesh President Ehtesham B Shajahan said the ministry had made an important decision even though it was late.
Its General Secretary Md Ahsanuzzaman said allowing soybean meal exports had caused unimaginable damage to the domestic poultry, fisheries, and dairy sectors.
He said soybean meal prices would definitely decrease now as exports had been banned and the crisis in India had eased.
But poultry and dairy farmers said the ban was not enough, and restoring normal prices of soybean meal was important too.
Otherwise, feed prices would not fall and as a result, controlling production costs of egg and chicken would not be possible, they said.
They urged the commerce ministry to pressure oil refiners to reduce soybean meal prices.