Vegoil import declines by 13% in oil year 2019-20

Our Bureau Mangaluru | Updated on November 13, 2020

Slack bulk demand seen as the reason

Imports of vegetable oils declined by 13 per cent during the oil year 2019-20 (November 2019 to October 2020) due to the demand destruction in the HoReCa (hotels, restaurants and catering) segment since April.

Solvent Extractors’ Association (SEA) of India, which has released the import figures for the oil year 2019-20, said that Covid-19 is the main factor for reduction in demand and consumption during the period.

India imported 13.52 million tonnes (mt) of vegetable oils during 2019-20 as against 15.55 mt in 2018-19.

The country imported 13.17 mt of edible oil and 0.35 mt of non-edible oil during 2019-20 as against 14.91 mt of edible oil and 0.64 mt of non-edible oil during 2018-19.

BV Mehta, Executive Director of SEA, said in a press release that this is the lowest import figure of vegetable oils in the last six years.

Palm oil

The total import of palm oil (which includes RBD palmolien and crude palm oil), decreased to 7.21 mt during the oil year 2019-20 as against 9.40 mt in 2018-19. Import of RBD palmolien drastically reduced to 0.42 mt in 2019-20 when compared to 2.73 mt in 2018-19. The main reason for this is the imposition of 5 per cent safeguard duty on September 4, 2019, and its placement in the restricted list category with effect from January 8, 2020.

The import of crude palm oil (CPO) marginally increased to 6.66 mt during 2019-20 as against 6.53 mt in 2018-19.

He said the domestic refining capacity utilisation improved during 2019-20 to 55-60 per cent from 40-45 per cent in a year before due to the stoppage of import RBD palmolien.

Soft oils

The government’s move on the import RBD palmolien encouraged the import of soft oil. The import of soft oils increased to 5.95 mt in 2019-20 from 5.50 mt in last year. This included 3.38 mt (3.09 mt) of soyabean oil, 2.51 mt (2.35 mt) of sunflower oil, and 0.055 mt (0.059 mt) of rapeseed oil.

The share of palm oil in the total import of edible oils reduced to 55 per cent in 2019-20 from 63 per cent in 2018-19, and the share of soft oils increased to 45 per cent in 2019-20 from 37 per cent in 2018-19.

Stock position

As on November 1, the stock of edible oils at various ports has been estimated at 558,000 tonnes (CPO 295,000 tonnes, RBD palmolein 13,000 tonnes, degummed soyabean oil 151,000 tonnes, crude sunflower oil 91,000 tonnes and rapeseed oil 17,000 tonnes), and a pipeline stock of 1.02 mt with a total stock of 1.57 mt. The total stock of edible oils was at 1.60 mt as on October 1.

Non-edible oil

Import of non-edible oils also saw a decline of 45 per cent during the oil year 2019-20. PKFAD (palm kernel fatty acid distillate) and palm stearin are the major non-edible oils being imported by the soap and oleo-chemical industries in the country.

Published on November 13, 2020

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