Agri Business

Palm oil imports increase 7% during Nov-March; soft oil shipments down

A J Vinayak Mangaluru | Updated on April 14, 2021

SEA expects that record mustard production would help reduce the import of vegetable oils in the coming months

India's palm oil imports increased 7.10 per cent but those of soft oils declined by 14.38 per cent in the first five months of the oil year 2020-21.

The Solvent Extractors’ Association (SEA) of India, the apex body of oil crushers, is of the view that the record mustard production in India would help reduce the import of vegetable oils in the coming months.

SEA , which released the vegetable oil import data for the first five months of the oil year 2020-21, said that the country imported 30.90 lakh tonnes of palm group of oils - crude palm oil, RBD palmolein, and crude palm kernel oil - during November 2020 to March 2021 against 28.85 lakh tonnes in the same period a year ago. The import of crude palm oil (CPO) increased to 29.9 lakh tonnes during the period from 24.6 lakh tonnes.

The import of soft oils such as soybean and sunflower decreased to 21.49 lakh tonnes from 25.10 lakh tonnes.

On the reduction in the import of soft oils during the period, BV Mehta, Executive Director of SEA of India, said in a statement that high price of sunflower oil discouraged the import, while the import of soyabean oil maintained at same level. The country imported 9.17 lakh tonnes (12.84 lakh tonnes) of sunflower oil, and 12.32 lakh tonnes (12.08 lakh tonnes) of soyabean oil during the first five months of the oil year.

“With record crop of mustard to the tune of 85-90 lakh tonnes and heavy demand for ‘kachi ghani’ and refined mustard oil, crushing is at the peak level,” he said, adding this will checkmate the import of edible oils in the coming months.

VEG OIL IMPORT

According to the SEA data, the overall import of vegetable oils (which includes both edible and non-edible oils) was 9.80 lakh tonnes in March 2021 against 9.55 lakh tonnes in March 2020, recording a growth of 2.61 per cent. This included 9.57 lakh tonnes of edible oils and 22,610 tonnes of non-edible oils.

However, the overall import of vegetable oils stood at 53.75 lakh tonnes during November-March 2020-21 compared with 55.19 lakh tonnes in the corresponding period of the previous year.

MAJOR SUPPLIERS

Malaysia was the major supplier of CPO to India. The country imported 16.80 lakh tonnes of CPO from Malaysia during the first five months of oil year 2020-21, followed by Indonesia at 12.95 lakh tonnes.

India imported 11.24 lakh tonnes of crude soybean degummed oil from Argentina, and 8.08 lakh tonnes of crude sunflower oil from Ukraine during the period.

Published on April 14, 2021

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