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Vegetable oil imports top record 10 million tonnes

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Drop in oilseed output, lower prices drive shipments up

Vegetable oil imports increased 18 per cent to 10.2 million tonnes (mt) in the oil year ended October. Besides lower prices, the demand was largely driven by sharp fall in oilseed output and rise in demand.

The overall vegetable oil production was down by 0.7 mt due to reduced oilseed crop. The domestic vegetable oil consumption increased by 0.7-0.8 million tonnes due to increase in per capita consumption and population growth.

In October, the country’s vegetable oil imports were the highest in last 12 months at 1,036,107 tonnes. It was up 16 per cent compared with last year. Edible oil imports were up 16 per cent at 1,018,113 tonnes (877,799 tonnes), while that of non-edible oil increased 11 per cent at 877,799 tonnes (16,246 tonnes) in October.

inventory

Closing stock of imported vegetable oil as of last month end increased by 0.2 mt to 1.57 mt.

As of November 1, edible oil inventory at various ports is estimated at 0.92 mt and about 0.65 mt in pipelines.

The stock at ports includes crude palm oil 600,000 tonnes, RBD palmolein 95,000 tonnes, degummed soya oil 125,000 tonnes, crude sunflower oil 85,000 tonnes and canola rape oil 15,000 tonnes.

Rise in offtake

Malaysia and Indonesia pushed the palm oil export into India during the year to reduce their inventory. Import of RBD palmolein from Indonesia increased substantially during the year due to inverted export duty structure. The overall consumption increased by about 1.25 mt, leading to higher import during the year.

In oil year 2011-12, import of refined oil was up 46 per cent at 1.57 mt (1.08 mt). Import of crude oil was also up 15 per cent at 8.40 mt (7.28 mt).

Edible oil imports

Palm oil imports increased to 7.7 mt compared with 6.5 mt during the last year and soft oil import also increased to 2.3 mt, consisting of 1.07 mt of soya oil, 1.13 mt sunflower oil, 91,000 tonnes of rape oil and 7,000 tonnes of other soft oils compared with 1.82 mt during the same period last year. Non-edible oil imports in 2011-12 were down 29 per cent at 0.21 mt (0.29 mt) due to increased domestic production.

Suresh.iyengar@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on November 15, 2012)
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