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Wednesday, Sep 08, 2004

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Edible oil imports top 4 lakh t in Aug

G. Chandrashekhar

Mumbai , Sept. 7

BUOYED by seasonal pressure, edible oil imports during August 2004 increased to 4.01 lakh tonnes (lt), up from 2.92 lt of the previous month.

According to preliminary import data made available to Business Line by the industry portal, the composition of arrivals last month was as follows : 1.71 lt degummed of soyabean oil; 1.58 lt of crude palm oil; 33,300 tonnes of refined palmolein; and 31,500 tonnes of crude sunflower oil.

The rest included 4,000 tonnes of crude palmolein and 2,000 tonnes of crude palm kernel oil.

The salient feature of the month's import was a substantial increase in soyabean oil arrivals following a downward price correction in the international market. In July, soyabean oil arrivals were an estimated 64,500 tonnes. Crude olein imports were also down considerably last month, while sunoil imports picked because of festival demand.

Edible oil imports in the first 10 months of the current oil year aggregated 31 lt compared with 42.5 lt during same period a year ago.

Projected imports during September and October are placed at 9-10 lt. That would take the total annual imports to 42-43 lt versus 51.1 lt in the whole of 2002-03.

Higher imports during August-October are intended to meet the demand for cooking oils during the ongoing festival season. Importers have been waiting for a much-needed downward revision in tariff values; but it has not materialised so far.

Also, there is little likelihood of a change in the carotenoid value specified for crude palm oil, if trade reports are anything to go by.

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