India’s vegetable oil imports decline 11% in April – SEA

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India imported 1,232,283 tonnes of vegetable oil, consisting 1,198,763 tonnes of edible oils and 33,520 tonnes of non-edible oils, in April, down 11 per cent as compared to 1,386,466 tonnes in April 2018, according to latest data from the Solvent Extractors Association (SEA).

The overall import of vegetable for the first six months of the oil year during November 2018 to April 2019, is reported at 7,541,689 tonnes compared to 7,318,295 tonnes during the same period of last year, up by 3 per cent.

During November 2018 – April 2019, the import of refined oil (RBD Palmolein) increased to 1,199,052 tonnes from 980,353 tonnes in same period of last year- marking a rise of 22 per cent.

Additionally, India has lowered the base import price of crude palm oil by $23 to $522 per tonne, the government said in a statement. Import tariff value on RBD palm oil revised down by $26 to $551 per tonne.

The government usually revises base import prices of edible oils, gold and silver every fortnight and the price is used to calculate the amount of tax an importer needs to pay. The world’s biggest edible oil importer has levied 40 per cent duty on crude palm oil imports. Malaysia and Indonesia are the main suppliers of palm oil to India.

Meanwhile, Indonesia’s exports of crude palm oil (CPO) and its derivative products – such as biodiesel and oleochemical – increased 16 per cent to 9.1 million tonnes in the first quarter, compared to 7.84 million tonnes exported in the corresponding period last year, according to Indonesian Palm Oil Producers Association (Gapki). Exports of CPO and its derivative products to India recorded a sharp decline from 516,530 tonnes in February to only 194,410 tonnes in March, the association said. There was also a decline in Palm Oil exports to African countries by 38 per cent, to the United States by 10 per cent, to China by 4 per cent and the EU by 2 per cent. However, exports to countries like South Korea, Japan and Malaysia in March increased by 60 per cent, month-on-month, the association said.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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