India’s June palm oil imports down 24 per cent from previous month

India’s palm oil imports fell 24 per cent to 5,87,467 tonne in June over the previous month of this year due to higher stock in the domestic market, industry body Solvent Extractors Association (SEA) said on Tuesday. The SEA expressed concern that the recent cut in import duty of crude palm oil (CPO) and other plam oils till September, as well as unrestricted import of RBD palmolein till December would be detrimental to the interest of domestic refiners and oilseeds growers.

India, the world’s leading vegetable oil buyer, had imported 5,64,839 tonne palm oils in June 2020. Whereas in May 2021, palm oil imports stood at 7,69,602 tonne.

The country’s total vegetable oil imports declined 17 per cent Rs 9.96 lakh tonne in June this year compared to 11.98 lakh tonne in the year-ago period.

The share of palm oil is more than 60 per cent of the country’s total vegetable oil imports.

According to SEA, vegetable oil imports in June were lower than the previous month due to higher stock in the domestic market.

Among palm oil products, import of crude palm oil (CPO) rose to Rs 5.76 lakh tonne in June this year from 5.63 lakh tonne in the year-ago period, as per the SEA data.

The shipment of crude palm kernel oil (CPKO) increased to 7,377 tonne from 1,000 tonne in the same period.

The import of RBD palmolein rose to 3,200 tonne in June this year from 300 tonne a year ago.

Among soft oils, the import of soyabean oil declined to 2,06,262 tonne in June from 3,31,171 tonne in the same period last year.

Similarly, the shipment of sunflower oil fell to 1,75,702 tonne from 2,69,428 tonne.

According to SEA, unrestricted import of RBD palm oils will also open flood gates for the import of refined oils from Nepal and Bangladesh at zero duty, seriously hit refiners in the eastern and northern India.

As on July 1, there was a total edible oil stock of 19.87 lakh tonne, out of which 12.60 lakh tonne is estimated to be in the pipeline.

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

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