Imports of palm and sunflower oil to India increased to a record level in 2022/23 MY

Source:  Oilworld
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India’s imports of palm and sunflower oil in 2022/23 MY increased by 24% and 54%, respectively, reaching record highs amid rising consumption and as both oils were available at a deep discount compared to rival soybean oil, a leading trade organization said on Monday.

The increase in purchases by the world’s largest importer of vegetable oils could help reduce palm oil stocks in Indonesia and Malaysia and support benchmark futures. The purchase could lead to a reduction in stocks in the Black Sea countries that produce sunflower oil.

Imports of palm oil totaled 9.79 million tons in the 2022/23 marketing year ended October 31, while imports of sunflower oil rose to 3 million tons, according to a statement from the Mumbai-based Solvent Exporters Association (SEA).

Soybean oil imports are down 12% this year to 3.68 million tons, as it traded at a premium over palm and sunflower oil for most of the month.

Total edible oil imports rose to a record 16.47 million tons this year, up 17.4% from a year ago, as the government’s decision to cut the edible oil import tax to 5.5% stimulated foreign purchases, the SEA reports.

The government cut import taxes when edible oil prices were rising on the global market last year, but did not raise them after prices fell, said a dealer at the New Delhi-based global trading house.

“The price correction in the global market, coupled with the reduction of duties, has made edible oil cheaper and increased consumption,” the dealer said.

According to the SEA, the increase in imports led to an increase in oil stocks to 3.3 million tons as of November 1 from 2.46 million tons a year earlier.

India buys palm oil mainly from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, while it imports soybean and sunflower oil from Argentina, Brazil, Russia and Ukraine.

Indian mills bought heavily from November to January and from July to September as global market prices were attractive, but in October they cut back on imports due to increased inventories, said Rajesh Patel, managing partner of edible oil trader and brokerage GGN Research.

Imports of palm oil to the country in October decreased by 15% compared to the previous month to 708 706 tons, which is the lowest level in 4 months, according to SEA.

Imports of soybean oil in October decreased by 62% compared to September to 135,325 tons, the lowest level in 34 months. Imports of the oil decreased by 49% to 153,780 tons, the lowest level in 7 months.

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