India Palm Oil Imports Climb for Eighth Month on Festive Demand


Palm oil imports by India, the world’s biggest buyer, climbed for an eighth straight month in September as lower international prices prompted traders and refiners to buy more to meet festival demand.

Imports advanced 20.4 percent to 931,637 metric tons in September from a year earlier, the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India said in a statement on Monday. That compares with a median estimate of 925,000 tons in a Bloomberg survey. Total vegetable oil purchases, including sunflower oil and those for industrial use, rose 8.5 percent to 1.52 million tons, the association said.

Palm oil demand generally spikes during the festive period in India, the world’s biggest importer, as Hindus celebrate major festivals such as Dussehra and Diwali between September and November. Vegetable oils are an important part of the festivities as consumption of sweets to fried foods increases.

Palm oil futures on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives fell 0.4 percent in September and have dropped 4.6 percent from a six-month high reached on Sept. 14. Palm oil for January delivery, the most-active contract by volume, rose 0.2 percent to close at 2,762 ringgit ($655) per ton on Monday.

Soybean oil imports dropped about 24 percent to 357,027 tons in September from a year earlier. The country buys soybean oil mainly from the U.S., Brazil and Argentina. Sunflower oil purchases surged 90 percent to 197,128 tons, the association said.


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