India palm oil imports seen climbing as low prices boost demand


India’s palm oil imports probably advanced in March as a drop in prices boosted demand ahead of summer.
Purchases by the world’s biggest buyer climbed about 18 percent to 805,000 metric tons from a year earlier, according to the median of four estimates in a Bloomberg survey of processors, brokers and analysts.

Total vegetable oil imports increased 4.5 percent to 1.16 million tons, the survey showed.

The Solvent Extractors’ Association of India is expected to release its monthly trade numbers next week.

A likely jump in imports by the world’s largest palm oil buyer may underpin palm oil prices, which have fallen in four out of five months through March. Palm oil for June delivery rose 0.3 percent to 2,429 ringgit ($626) per ton by 11:29 a.m. on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives on Friday after falling for four straight sessions.
A drop of more than 5 percent in palm oil prices last month, after India increased import duties, boosted overseas purchases, said Veeresh Hiremath, head of research at Hyderabad-based Karvy Comtrade. Malaysia’s palm oil exports to India more than doubled in March from a year earlier, according to cargo surveyor SGS Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

Soyoil Demand

India’s soybean oil purchases declined about 30 percent to 160,000 tons in March, the survey showed. India buys soybean oil mainly from the U.S., Brazil and Argentina. Sunflower oil imports rose about 4.5 percent to 190,000 tons.


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