* India's Nov oilmeal exports up 21 pct y/y
* India's April-Nov oilmeal exports down 20 pct y/y
MUMBAI, Dec 6 (Reuters) - India's soymeal exports surged more than 10-fold in November from a month ago on fresh supplies and strong demand from France and Japan, a top trade body said on Thursday.
India, Asia's leading supplier of soymeal, exported 517,103 tonnes of the animal feed in November, compared with 49,840 tonnes in the previous month, industry body the Solvent Extractors' Association (SEA) of India said in a statement.
Supplies from the new season soybean crop started arriving from October, with around 450,000-600,000 bags of about 100 kg each reaching markets daily across India. Soybeans are crushed to produce vegetable oils and meal for animal feed.
"Harvesting for soybean is in process and availability is good. We expect soymeal exports to be good in coming months as well," said B.V. Mehta, executive director of the SEA.
But oilmeal exports in the first eight months of the fiscal year beginning April were at 2.4 million tonnes, down from 3 million tonnes a year earlier.
India's oilmeal exports could fall about 10 percent this fiscal year, crimped by fading sales to Iran, a ban on rapeseed meal imports by China and congestion at local ports, B.V. Mehta, executive director of the SEA said on Wednesday.
A delay in payments from Iran is the main reason behind falling exports to the country, he said, adding that India's soymeal exports to Iran in the first eight months of the fiscal year totalled 450,000 tonnes and this could reach 100,000 tonnes a month once the payment issue is resolved.
India is trying to pay for part of its oil imports from Iran, one of its biggest suppliers, in the rupee, which is not freely traded on international markets, as sanctions aimed at curbing Tehran's nuclear programme have cut its payment options.
France, Japan, and Europe were the top three buyers of Indian soymeal in November, the SEA data showed.
Export of Indian soymeal is expected to rise in coming months due to fresh arrivals from the new crop. A drop in rival supplies from the drought-hit United States and South America will also help boost demand for India's soymeal.
But total 2012/13 soymeal shipments may still come in flat near the previous year's levels as farmers hold back soybean stocks hoping for better prices.
India's total oilmeal exports rose 21 percent to 641,285 tonnes in November from a year earlier. Exports of rapeseed meal dropped more than 23 percent to 66,966 tonnes in November from a year earlier. (Reporting by Meenakshi Sharma; Editing by Himani Sarkar)