India’s vegetable oil import down by 27 per cent in July 2018

India imported 11,19,538 tonnes of vegetable oil (comprising both edible and non-edible oils) in July, down by 27 per cent as compared to 15,24,724 tonnes in the same month last year, according to latest data released by the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA).

The current revision of import duty in June 2018, fast rupee depreciation and also credit crunch has led to negative growth in imports of vegetable oils,” SEA said.

The rupee too has hit an all-time low of 70.1 to a US dollar on concerns over Turkey’s economic woes.

Edible oil imports declined to 1.05 million tonnes in July this year from 1.48 million tonnes in the same month last year. Out of total imports last month, 52 per cent was palm oil and 42 per cent soft oils like soyabean and sunflower oil.

However, imports of non-edible oils rose to 65,825 tonnes from 35,597 tonnes during the period under review.

In the first nine months of the current oil year 2017-18 ending October, import of vegetable oils declined 5.5 per cent to 10.76 million tonnes compared to 11.39 million tonnes during the year ago period.

Edible oil imports fell to 10.45 million tonnes during November 2017-July 2018 period from 11.10 million tonnes in the corresponding period of the 2016-17 oil year. Of total cooking oils import, palm oil shipments contributed 59 percent.

Imports of non-edible oil, however, rose to 3,11,587 tonnes in the first nine months of 2017-18 oil year from 2,87,201 tonnes in the year ago period.

India’s total demand for edible oils during 2017-18 is estimated at 23 million tonnes. The stock of edible oils as on August 1 at various ports is estimated at 9,28,000 tonnes and about 15,47,000 tonnes are in pipelines.

Shekhar Ghosh is a communications consultant and and former journalist, who has edited and written for publications such as like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today and Outlook.

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