RBD palmolein imports hit 20-month high in August

Our Bureau Mangaluru | Updated on September 15, 2021

Total vegoil imports down by 22%

Despite the decrease in overall import of edible oils during August, the import of RBD palmolein touched a 20-month high.

The import of RBD palmolein crossed 1 lakh tonnes (lt) in August 2021. The country imported 1.87 lt of RBD palmolein in August. Imports had last touched 1.22 lt in November 2019.

Total edible oil import stood at 10.16 lt in August 2021 as against 13.08 lt in 2020, recording a decline of 22.32 per cent.

The lifting of restrictions on import of refined palm oil and palmolein with effect from June 30 helped India import 1,87,471 tonnes of RBD palmolein in August.

BV Mehta, Executive Director of Solvent Extractors’ Association (SEA) of India, said that the import of refined palm oil in to India increased substantially in August due to relaxation in policy for import of RBD palmolein.

Referring to import figures of RBD palmolein during August, he told BusinessLine that around 2 lt of refined oil will come in the next three-four months as RBD palmolein is freely importable now.

While the country had imported only 3,200 tonnes of RBD palmolein in June, it increased to 13,895 tonnes in July following the lifting of restrictions on import.

According to the SEA data, Indonesia exported a major share of 1.13 lt of RBD palmolein in August, followed by Malaysia at 64,087 tonnes and Thailand at 10,000 tonnes.

Import price

The average CIF price of RBD palmolein was a bit lower at $1,196 a tonne in August against crude palm oil (CPO) at $1,217 a tonne.

On reasons for this, Mehta said Indonesia has export duty, and the duty is lower for RBD palmolein when compared to CPO. When the RBD is available cheaper, people will import it more when compared to CPO. It is hurting the refining industry in India as RBD palmolein is cheaper than CPO. Though the government had imposed restriction on RBD palmolein earlier, now it has relaxed the restrictions till December 31, he said.

After lifting the restriction on import of refined palm oil and palmolein with effect from June 30, average CIF price went up to $1,190 a tonne for RBD palmolein and at $1,230 a tonne for CPO in July.

The average CIF price of CPO was a bit higher at $1,075 a tonne in June when compared to RBD palmolein at $1,051 a tonne.

Refined share up

The share of the import of refined oil in the total edible oil basket increased to 18 per cent in August as against 1.5 per cent in July. With this, the share of crude oil in the total edible oil basket came down to 82 per cent in August as against 98.5 per cent in July.

The total import of palm oil - which includes CPO and RBD palmolein - increased to 7.50 lt in August against 4.65 lt in July.

It increased to 63.65 lt during the first 10 months of the oil year 2020-21 compared to 57.96 lt during the corresponding period of the previous oil year 2019-20 due to lower duty advantage compared to soft oils.

The import of soft oils decreased to 40.21 lt during November to August 2020-21 as against 51.09 lt in the corresponding period of 2019-20 due to high prices of soyabean and sunflower oil.

Stating that the country imported 12,437 tonnes of rapeseed oil during August, Mehta expected increase in the shipment during next three-four months.

According to SEA of India, the import of vegetable oils (which includes both edible oils and non-edible oils) stood at 10.53 lt in August 2021 compared to 13.70 lt in August 2020. This included 10.16 lt of edible oils and 37,440 tonnes of non-edible oils.

The overall import of vegetable oils stood at 107.08 lt during November-August 2020-21 as against 111.95 lt in the corresponding period of the previous oil year.


As on September 1, the stock of edible oils was estimated at 6 lt at various ports, and pipeline stock at 11.50 lt. The stock increased slightly by 55,000 tonnes to 17.50 lt as on September 1 from 16.95 lt as on August 1.

Published on September 15, 2021

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