India’s veg oil imports in July rose 26 % to 14 lakh tonne from a year ago, the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India stated on Wednesday. Imports of palm oil in July stood at 812,805 tonne, while soy oil imports were 319,606 tonne, the SEA said in a statement.
As per the import data compiled by the association for the month of July 2019, the import of vegetable oils was up 26% to 1,412,001 tonne compared to 1,119,538 tonne in July 2018. This consists of 1,347,882 tonne of edible oils and 64,119 tonne of non-edible oils. However, the overall import of vegetable oils during November 2018 to July 2019 is reported at 11,280,972 tonne compared to 10,766,076 tonne during the same period of last year, a raise of of 5%.
During the last few months, due to duty advantage given to Malaysia for palmolein under India-Malaysia CECA Agreement, India was flooded with RBD palmolein following reduction of duty difference from 10% to 5% between CPO and palmolein sourced from Malaysia with effect from January 1, 2019. This has seriously affected working of domestic refiners of CPO and capacity utilisation has been further reduced, BV Mehta, executive director, SEA said.
The stock of edible oils as on August 1, 2019 at various ports is estimated at 835,000 tonne (CPO 320,000 tonne, RBD palmolein 210,000 tonne, degummed soybean oil 150,000 tonne, crude sunflower oil 150,000 tonne and rapeseed oil 5,000). Total stock at ports and in pipelines is reported at 1,995,000 tonne, down by 155,000 tonne from 2,150,000 tonne as on 1st July, 2019. India's monthly requirement is about 19.0 lakh tonne and operate at 30 days stock against which current holding stock is over 19.95 lakh tonne which is equal to 32 days requirements against 24.75 lakh tonne as on August 1, 2018.
During November 2018-July 2019, import of refined oil (RBD palmolein) increased to 2,090,381 tonne from 1,495,674 tonne in same period of last year i.e. up by 40%. However, import of crude oils decreased and is reported at 8,713,396 tonne from 8,958,815 tonne during the same period of last year. During December 2018, the share of refined (RBD Palmolein) was just 10%, whereas in July 2019 it has increased to 20%.
During November 2018-July 2019, palm oil import has increased to 6,898,199 tonne from 6,107,903 tonne during the same period of last year, due to higher import of RBD palmolein. However, soft oils import decreased to 3,905,578 tonne from 4,346,586 tonne during the same period of last year.
In last one year, prices of palm oils in international market have gone down in the range of 10-16%, Mehta points out. The spread between palm oil and soft oils has increased, leading to higher import of palm products. Import of non-edible oils during July 2019 is reported at 64,119 tonne compared to 65,825 tonne in July 2018. The overall import of non-edible oils during November 2018 to July 2019 is reported at 477,195 tonne, compared to 311,587 tonne during the same period last year.