Vegetable oil imports to India rose 33% to 1.86 mn tonne in August: SEA

According to industry body SEA, India's vegetable oil imports increased 33% year on year to 18.66 lakh tonnes in August as a result of decreased duties and a revival in demand following a drop in domestic prices.


The leading importer of vegetable oil in the world, India, brought in 14.01 lakh tonnes in August 2022.


When compared to the same period last year, the nation's total imports of vegetable oil climbed by 24% to 141.21 lakh tonnes during the first 10 months of the 2022–23 oil year (November–October).


Out of all vegetable oil shipments made in August, 18.52 lakh tons were edible oils and 14,008 were non-edible oils, according to the Solvent Extractors' Association (SEA).


In August, imports of palm oil totaled 11.28 lakh tonnes.


"Looking to import of edible oils in first ten months at 141.21 lakh tons, it will not be surprised to see a record import of over 160 to 165 lakh tons during current oil year ending October 2023," it said in a statement.


In 2016–17, 151 lakh tonne was India's highest import, it added.


The industry body cited reasons for the increase in imports, noting that despite abundant domestic availability, a dramatic reduction in domestic edible oil prices has sparked demand, as seen by the August data.


In August, crude palm oil imports were 8.24 lakh tonne, a slight decrease from 8.41 lakh tonne the month prior as the commodity regained competitiveness against soybean and other oils, it was stated.


"This influx of imports is driven by the current low 5.5 per cent duty on crude palm oil, soybean oil, and sunflower oil, transforming India into a prime destination for excess oil supplies," it added.


India mostly imports palm oil from Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as a small quantity of crude soft oil from Argentina, including soyabean. From Ukraine and Russia, sunflower oil is imported.

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