Poor rapeseed output to push cooking oil imports up

Reuters | | Updated on: Dec 06, 2021

The country's rapeseed output could fall 12 per cent from a year ago to 5.74 million tonnes in 2014-15, the latest update from the Solvent Extractors' Association of India (SEA), an industry body, showed on Monday.

A lower output of the highest oil-producing crop may push up cooking oil imports of the world's top buyer to a record level for the fourth year in a row.

Farmers in the world's third-biggest producer after China and Canada plant rapeseed crop during October-November, while harvest starts from March.

After a recent field survey over the growing areas, an SEA team found this year's rapeseed harvest would be lower due to a drop in area. Warmer conditions during the initial and final maturity stages were expected to cut oil content in the crop.

Growers planted rapeseed in over 6.5 million hectares (16 million acres) in the current crop year to June, an 8.5 per cent drop from the previous year because of poor soil moisture in the main growing areas in the northwest.

"We expect edible oil imports to be at least 12.5 million tonnes in 2014-15," said B.V. Mehta, executive director of the Mumbai-based trade body.

The country, the world's top importer of palm oils, bought 11.62 million tonnes in 2013-14 (Nov-Oct), including 8.0 million tonnes of the tropical oil.

The drop in rapeseed output is expected to benefit suppliers in the world's top two producers — Indonesia and Malaysia.

Recent lower purchases by the world's top palm oil importer dented benchmark futures of the tropical oil, which slid to a low on Monday.

Published on March 16, 2015
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