Economy

Veg oil import up 18% in December at 10.67 lakh tonne

PTI New Delhi | Updated on January 13, 2014 Published on January 13, 2014

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India’s vegetable oil imports have risen by 18 per cent to 10.67 lakh tonnes in December 2013, the second highest in a month since 1994, due to purchase of cheaper sunflower oil from overseas and anticipation of hike in import duty.

Import of vegetable oils, comprising edible and non-edible oils, stood at 9.08 lakh tonnes in December 2012.

“December 2013 has shown the second highest record import of vegetable oils at 10.67 lakh tonnes, since 1994. In January 2013 import was 11.57 lakh tonnes,” Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) said in a statement.

In the first two months of oil year, imports of vegetable oils rose by 25 per cent to 20.12 lakh tonnes as compared to 16.08 lakh tonnes in the year-ago period.

Edible oil imports increased to 19.79 lakh tonnes during the period, from 15.59 lakh tonnes, but import of non-edible oils decreased to 32,357 tonnes in the two months, from 49,235 tonnes in the same period last year.

Oil year runs from November to October.

“In the last two months import has surged as sunflower oil was cheaper to soybean oil encouraged larger shipment of sunflower oil,” SEA said.

The industry body also said that palm oil shipments were higher during the month in anticipation of likely increase in import duty. Moreover, price difference between RBD Palmolein and crude palm oil reduced to less than $10/tonne making RBD Palmolein more attractive over CPO.

India imported over 10 million tonnes of vegetable oils in 2012-13 oil year, which is about 50 per cent of domestic demand.

The country imports palm oil from Malaysia and Indonesia, while soyabean oil is purchased from Brazil and Argentina.

Import duty on crude edible oil is 2.5 per cent and custom duty on refined edible oil has recently been increased to 10 per cent from 7.5 per cent.

During November-December 2013, import of refined oil has gone up by 74 per cent to 3.72 lakh tonnes, compared to 2.14 lakh tonnes during the same period of previous year.

Import of crude oil was up by 19 per cent at 16.07 lakh tonnes as compared to 13.45 lakh tonnes during the same period of last year.

Current stock of edible oils as on January 1, 2014 at various ports is estimated at 7.45 lakh tonnes and about 8.5 lakh tonne in pipelines.

Published on January 13, 2014
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