Agri Business

Vegetable oils import declines 17% in Jan

| | Updated on: Feb 14, 2011

Vegetable oils import declined 17 per cent in January compared with the same period a year ago on higher domestic oilseeds crop.

With demand for Indian soyameal in the global market up, there was parity for domestic crushers leading to better availability of indigenous edible oils in the market.

Surging global market trend also contributed to lower import but the rising rupee acted a cushion against it.

For the November-January quarter of the current oil year ending October, imports dropped 11 per cent at 20.74 lakh tonnes (lt).


Higher inventories are also acting as a deterrent against imports. According to the Solvent Extractors Association of India, about 6.95 lakh tonnes of vegetable oils are stocked up at various ports in the country. Of this, crude palm oil stocks are 4.3 lt, RBD (refined, bleached and deodorised) palmolein and degummed soyabean oil 1 lt each, sunflower oil 65,000 tonnes. Besides, 8.5 lt vegetable oils have been contracted and are on their way.

Total stock, at ports and in the pipeline, are estimated to be 15.45 lt against 14.45 on January 1.

In January, RBD palmolein shipments dropped 3 per cent to 2.97 lt compared with 3.82 lt during the same period a year ago. Crude palm oil imports dropped to 3.98 lt (5.12 lt).

However, import of crude sunflower oil was up at 1.17 lt (0.45 lt), while degummed soyabean oil shipments were down at 49,520 tonnes (1.14 lt).

In January, the ratio of crude oil imports compared with refined oils dropped to 76 per cent compared with the usual over 80 per cent. For the quarter, however, the ration was up at 83 per cent against 81 per cent a year ago.

In January, prices of most vegetable oils increased but the rupee's appreciation to 45.35 against the dollar compared with 46.25 a year ago helped manage the situation.

RBD palmolein import cost $1,290 a tonne in January against $814 a year ago. Similarly, crude palm oil cost was up at $1,263 ($774); degummed soyabean oil at $1,339 ($907) and crude sunflower oil at $1,449 ($950).

This agricultural season (July 2010-June 2011), oilseeds production in the country is estimated at 27.84 million tonnes (mt) against 24.88 mt last year. Soyabean is seen leading the rise with a record output of 10.4 mt (9.9 mt ), while groundnut production is seen recovering to 6.8 mt (5.4 mt ). Production of rapeseed/mustard, a rabi crop, is projected at 7.4 mt (6.6 mt ).

Published on February 15, 2011

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