Forecasted strong demand for oat related foods will see India remain a major global importer of oat and oat products moving forward

Posted on Wednesday, August 8th, 2018 at 8:49 pm News Stories.

India, the world’s largest importer of oat products behind the US and Mexico, is reporting total oat product imports up 14.7% in the first five months of 2018 (see below).  Raw oat imports are down 33% YTD but have been trending higher over the past five-years as more domestic processing comes online.

Rising demand for breakfast cereals and snack bars in India is resulting in some of the largest global growth numbers, past and forward looking.  India’s breakfast cereal market is projected to touch Rs2,610 crore by 2020, according to market research firm Euromonitor International. The market grew 24% in 2015 to Rs1,440 crore.

According to Euromonitor, US-based Kellogg dominated India’s packaged breakfast cereal market with a 37% share (value terms) in 2015. PepsiCo India Holdings Pvt. Ltd, the local unit of American food and beverage maker PepsiCo Inc., had a 13.3% share (value), up from 9.5% in 2010, added Euromonitor.

PepsiCo, for the past few years, has been trying to sell Indian food items in a ready-to-cook packaged form. In March 2017, it had launched ready-to-cook idli, dosa, upma and khichdi, hoping to get more Indians to eat packaged breakfast.

Nestlé India Ltd, the maker of Maggi instant noodles, now wants to sell packaged breakfast cereals in India, a market where the majority of the 1.3 billion people still prefer a home-cooked breakfast.

The India unit of Swiss food company Nestlé SA. said in a statement on Wednesday that it will start selling Nestlé Breakfast Cereals from Cereal Partners Worldwide (CPW), a joint venture between Nestle SA and American firm General Mills Inc., in India this year.

In the past few years, a bunch of multinational and home-grown firms—including Bagrry’s India, Marico Ltd, ITC Ltd, MTR Foods and Dr Oetkers—have made inroads into the breakfast market with products such as muesli, oats, ready-to-cook packets for dosa, idli, uttapam and dhokla as consumer demand rises for healthier, ready-to-cook breakfast.

Australia continues to dominate oat and product imports to India. The major oat exporter and oat processor account for 70% of total product exports to India and 74% of raw oat exports.

Ukraine increased raw oat exports in 2015-2016 but exports eased in 2017 (see below).

The United Arab Emirates has been making inroads to India in recent years on the product side with an 18% market share and a five-year CAGR of 13-34% (see below).  Sri Lanka has also shown some growth in the Indian import market.

The United Kingdom continues to hang on to some market share accounting for 13% of worked oats imports into India.

Forecasts of strong breakfast cereal and snack bar demand moving forward will continue to see growth on the oat import and product trade. We believe however domestic processing will continue to increase as the market matures.