India’s palm oil imports fall in August

New Delhi: India’s import of palm oils declined 13.86 per cent to 7,34,351 tonne in August 2020, on account of tightened norms on the shipment of RBD Palmolien, Industry body Solvent Extractors Association (SEA) said on Thursday.

The fall in imports of RBD Palmolein is helping the domestic industry to utilise the higher capacity, it said in a statement.

According to the SEA, the overall import of palm oils dropped to 7,34,351 tonne during August this year from 8,52,534 tonne in the same month last year. RBD Palmolein was placed under restricted import list on January 8, 2020, and since then imports have drastically reduced.

The share of palm oil is more than 60 per cent of the country’s total vegetable oil imports. Among palm oil products, import of crude palm oil (CPO) increased to 7,24,351 tonne in August from 5,87,329 tonne in the year-ago period, as per the SEA data.

Import of crude palm kernel oil (CPKO) rose to 10,000 tonne from 7,500 tonne, while no shipments of RBD Palmolein were undertaken in the said period. Besides palm oils, the country also imported 5,74,054 tonne of soft oils — soyabean oil, sunflower oil and canola.

Import of soyabean oil declined to 3,94,735 tonne in August 2020 from 4,40,704 tonne a year ago, while the shipment of sunflower oil fell to 1,58,518 tonne as against 2,30,023 tonne in the said period. About 20,801 tonne of canola oil was also imported in the period.

Both palm and soft oils put together, the country’s overall vegetable oils imports were at 13,70,457 tonne in August 2020, 14 per cent lower from 15,86,514 tonne in the year-ago period, the SEA data showed.

Citing demand destruction in view of Covid-19 pandemic, the SEA has projected that the country’s overall vegetable oil imports could decline by 14-15 lakh tonne to around 134-135 lakh tonne in the 2019-20 oil year (November-October) against 149.1 lakh tonne in the previous year.

As on 1 September, there was higher edible oil stock of 17,31,000 tonne at various ports. The stock was rebuilt in the last three months, mainly due to higher import of edible oils, it added.

India imports palm oil mainly from Indonesia and Malaysia, and a small quantity of crude soft oil, including soybean oil from Argentina. Sunflower oil is imported from Ukraine and Russia.

 

NT Bureau