Agri Business

SEA sees edible oil imports to be between 12.5 mt and 13.5 mt in 2020-21

Our Bureau Mangaluru | Updated on November 23, 2020

Giving details of edible oil imports for the oil year 2019-20, he said imports stood at 13.52 mt, a decline of 13 per cent   -  Reuters

India may produce 10-15 lt more domestic edible oil next year; consumption by HoReCa, out-of-home segments to remain low on resurgence of Covid-19

The import of edible oils is expected to remain range-bound between 12.5 million tonnes (mt) 13.5 mt for the oil year 2020-21, according to Atul Chaturvedi, President, Solvent Extractors’ Association (SEA) of India.

This was highlighted by him in a letter to the members of SEA on Monday. (The edible oil year ranges from November to October.)

Referring to the factors having a significant bearing on edible oil imports during 2020-21, he said India is a price-sensitive market, and high prices may affect consumption negatively.

Also read: Oilmeals export up by 6% in April-October FY21

Stating that India may produce 10-15 lakh tonnes (lt) more domestic edible oil next year, he said consumption by the hotels, restaurants, catering (HoReCa) and out-of-home segments would remain low with Covid-19 showing no signs of relenting.

He said demand destruction in out-of-home consumption and HoReCa segments was huge, though recently there has been some pick-up in demand due to ‘take-home’ delivery gaining lost ground; but this is not significant.

“Corona, after giving us false hopes of receding, seems to be raising its ugly head all over again. Any hopes of a V-shaped recovery are fading and all hopes are now being pinned on the vaccine which seems to be in the last stages of development,” he said.

Corona-induced lifestyle changes would have far-reaching ramifications for society, he said.

The cumulative effect of all these factors would ensure restricted edible oil imports. “We are pegging imports to remain range-bound between 125 lt to 135 lakh tonnes in the next oil year,” Chaturvedi said.

Also read: Lacklustre HoReCa segment wipes out demand for edible oils

Giving details of edible oil imports for the oil year 2019-20, he said imports stood at 13.52 mt, a decline of 13 per cent.

Import of crude edible oil constituted 97 per cent of the country’s imports during 2019-20. Terming it as good news, he said this helped improve the capacity utilisation of domestic refining.

The import of refined oil was restricted to 4.21 lt tonnes in 2019-20, compared to 27.31 lt in 2018-19, he added.

Published on November 23, 2020

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