India’s edible oil import declines by 12% to 11.95 million tonnes during Nov-Sept

Our Bureau Mangaluru | Updated on October 20, 2020

Destruction of bulk demand leading to lower import of palm products seen as the reason

The import of edible oils to the country reduced by 12 per cent in the first 11 months of the oil year 2019-20. (The oil year ranges from November to October.)

A press statement by Solvent Extractors’ Association (SEA) of India said on Friday that the country imported 11.95 million tonnes (mt) of edible oil during November-September of 2019-20 as against 13.58 mt during the corresponding period of 2018-19.

It said that the reduction in the import of edible oils is mainly due to demand destruction since April from HoReCa (hotels, restaurants and catering) segment hitting lower import of palm products.

The import of palm oil (which includes RBD palmolien, crude palm oil, crude olein, and crude palm kernel oil) decreased to 6.4 million tonnes during November-September of 2019-20 from 8.6 million tonnes during the same period of 2018-19.

RBD palmolein down

It said that the overall import of RBD palmolein decreased to 0.416 mt during November-September 2019-20 from 2.6 mt in the same period of last year.

The import of RBD palmolein had seen reduction since it was placed under the Restricted List with effect from January 8. The import of RBD palmolein was reported nil in July and August as against 2.64 lakh tonnes and 2.57 lakh tonnes in the corresponding months of 2019.

However, the country reported import of 12,150 tonnes of RBD palmolein in September as against 2.64 lakh tonnes in September 2019.

Soft oils up

The import of soft oils (which includes soyabean, sunflower, rapeseed and others) increased to 5.5 mt (4.9 mt) during the period mainly due to heavy demand for soft oils from the household segments.

SEA said that palm oils versus soft oils ratio stood at 54:46 during the first 11 months of 2019-20 as against 64:36 for the same period of last year.

There was a spurt in the demand from households in consumer packs, particularly for sunflower and soyabean oil, during the lockdown period. This was evident by an increase in their import by 7 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively, it said.

Overall import down

The overall import of vegetable oils, which includes edible and non-edible oils, came down to 1.06 mt in September 2020 as against 1.3 mt in September 2019 — a decline of 19 per cent.

The overall import of vegetable oils stood at 12.25 mt during November- September 2020 as against 14.17 mt during the same period last year, a decline of 13.5 per cent. The overall import of crude oil in the total vegoil imports increased to 11.53 mt (10.969 mt) during the period.

The SEA statement said that the overall import of vegetable oils (edible and non-edible) may fall by 1.9-2 mt during the oil year 2019-20. It may be around 13.5-13.6 mt during 2019-20 as against 15.550 mt in the previous year.

Stock position

As on October 1, the total stock of edible oils was estimated at 1.60 mt (0.58 mt) at various ports and pipeline stock of 1.02 mt. The stock was at 1.73 mt as on September 1.

Published on October 20, 2020

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