Import of vegetable oil in India drops by 20% in June 2021

India’s imports of vegetable oils fell by 20 per cent month-on-month in June to 996,014 tonness due to higher stocks at its ports, the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEAI), a national trade body, said.

Palm oil imports, which account for over 60 per cent of the country’s vegetable oil purchases, fell 23.6 per cent to 587,467 tonnes last month, the data showed. Soya oil purchases fell by 23 per cent to 206,262 tonnes while sunflower oil imports in June were steady at 175,702 tonnes compared to 175,759 tonnes in May, it added.

India buys palm oil from Indonesia and Malaysia while other oils, including soya oil and sunflower oil, are sourced from Argentina, Brazil, Ukraine and Russia. India is the largest importer of vegetable oils in the world and imports about 14 million tonnes of oils annually, of which palm oil accounts for 8-9 million tonnes.

India’s palm oil imports dropped in June as a combination of higher imports in May and slower local consumption led to a build-up of vegetable oil stocks at ports, according to industry watchers. From 30 June, the government has reduced the import duty on crude palm oil and removed restrictions on imports of refined palm oil and olein to lower prices of edible oils for retail customers. Further, Indonesia and Malaysia have higher duty on CPO compared to RBD Palmolein. This may lead to increased export of refined palm oil in to India in coming months at the cost of CPO, the association said.

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