India’s import of edible oils is likely to be lower in the oil year 2022-23 (November-October), if the forecasts of Dorab Mistry, Director of Godrej International, are any indication.
In his recorded video presentation at the 25th edition of Globoil India, he estimated the Indian imports at 13.65 million tonnes (mt) during 2022-23 against 13.84 mt in 2021-22.
Explaining the rationale behind his forecasts, he said India is over-importing vegetable oils now. India is importing too much in August, September and October. As a result of this, the end-October stocks, which are the opening stocks for next year, will be very high. “That is one of the reasons why we will import less next year,” he said.
Added to this, Indian production of soyabean, rapeseed and palm will be better next year.
He estimated the Indian import of soyabean oil at 3.65 mt in 2022-23 (4.13 mt in 2021-22), palm oil at 7.7 mt (7.65 mt), and sunflower oil at 2.2 mt (1.93 mt).
Stating that India has been very lucky with the monsoon this year, he said extended rainfall will also benefit rabi mustard seed planting. He said consumption growth has recovered and production of oilseeds has also expanded now.
Palm oil production
On the global palm oil production, he said Malaysia will produce 18.2-18.5 mt in 2022.
Though his earlier estimate was at 19 mt, he reduced it due to the factors such as labour shortages in Malaysia.
Stating that Indonesian palm oil production will be 3 mt more than the last year, he said the Indonesian government made a huge mistake by banning the export of palm oil.
The combined export tax and levy of almost $550 a tonne was also a mistake and led to local shortages and very high prices. As a result of the ban, Indonesian stocks are very high, and the growers are suffering now.
Urging the Indonesian government to remove all export taxes and levies until December 31, he said such a move could help accelerate exports and bring local stocks to normal level.
He said there has been a big recovery in the production of rapeseed and canola in 2022. The production is going to be up by 5-6 mt in Canada alone because of good rainfall there.
He said Indian mustard seed production in 2022-23 should again achieve new records.
Apart from this, any ceasefire in the Ukraine conflict will dramatically improve supplies, he said.
He said the US Department of Agriculture has been very aggressive in trimming the US soya crop. Though the extension of La Nina for third consecutive year is a bad omen for South American soya, record productions can be expected, thanks to better seeds and high prices in local currencies, he said.
Referring to sunflower production, he said more sunflower seed and sunflower oil should be exported, if the Russia-Ukraine conflict ends or decelerates. He said Ukraine conflict must end before Christmas because Russian troops want to go back home for Christmas.