India. Palm oil imports down 8.27% in November


Palm oil imports fell by 8.27 per cent to 8,01,311 tonnes in November this year, on expected bumper oilseeds crop and better domestic edible oils supply, industry body Solvent Extractors Association (SEA) said today.

India, the world's leading vegetable oil buyer, had imported 8,73,592 tonnes palm oil in November 2015.

Country's total vegetable oil imports fell by 12 per cent to 11.75 lakh tonnes in November this year, from 13.37 lakh tonnes in the year-earlier period.

"Import has reduced due to expected bumper kharif oilseeds crop and better domestic availability of edible oils. Also, currency crunch due to demonetisation has slow down the purchases by end consumers also affected the demand and import to some extent," SEA said in a statement.

Palm oil makes up over 65 per cent of the country's total vegetable oil imports. However, there has been a sharp increase in the import of refined palm oil due to less price difference with crude palm oil (CPO).

SEA further said that importers continue to make larger purchases of sunflower oil, taking advantage of the still large price discount versus soyabean oil.

Among palm oil products, import of RBD palmolein rose to 2,40,948 tonnes in November 2016, from 2,31,672 tonnes in the year-ago period.

The shipments of CPO, however, fell to 5,57,364 tonnes in November, from 6,27,404 tonnes in the year-ago period, and the import of crude palm kernel oil (CPKO) too dropped to 2,999 tonnes, from 14,516 tonnes in the said period.

Among soft oils, import of soyabean oil declined to 1,64,286 tonnes in November from 2,56,836 tonnes in the year-ago period, while sunflower oil and rapeseed oil shipments stood at 1,58,071 tonnes and 32,195 tonnes, respectively, in the said period.

Presently, 18.25 lakh tonnes of vegetable oils stocks are lying at ports and in the pipeline, which can meet 33 days of requirements. India's monthly requirement is about 16.5 lakh tonnes, SEA said.

India imports palm oil, mainly from Indonesia and Malaysia, and a small quantity of crude soft oils, including soyabean oil from Latin America. Sunflower oil is imported from Ukraine and Russia.


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