India’s May Palm oil imports jump 74 pc on rising demand

New Delhi, Jun 13 (PTI) India’s palm oil imports surged 74 per cent to 7,63,300 tonnes in May this year from 4,39,173 tonnes in the year-ago period, as the world’s largest vegetable oil buyer stocked up the commodity to meet rising domestic demand, industry body Solvent Extractors Association (SEA) said on Thursday.

The total vegetable oil imports rose to 15.29 lakh tonnes in May this year from 10.58 lakh tonnes in May 2023, it added.

Palm oil constitutes a major part of imports.

Crude palm oil (CPO) imports rose to 5,32,555 tonnes in May this year from 3,48,118 tonnes in the year-ago period, while RBD Palmolein imports surged to 2,25,746 tonnes from 85,205 tonnes. However, Crude Palm Kernel Oil (CPKO) imports fell to 4,999 tonnes from 5,850 tonnes a year earlier.

Sunflower oil imports climbed to 4,10,727 tonnes from 2,95,206 tonnes, and soybean oil rose to 3,24,016 tonnes from 3,18,887 tonnes.

For the first seven months of the 2023-24 marketing year started on November 1, Palm oil imports fell to 49.77 lakh tonnes from 53.48 lakh tonnes in the year-ago period, while soybean oil imports were down at 85.67 lakh tonnes against 90.55 lakh tonnes in the said period.

As of June 1, India’s edible oil stocks stood at 6,68,000 tonnes.

Global edible oil prices surged last month due to supply disruptions in major exporters like Argentina, Brazil, Russia, and Ukraine, SEA said.

Rising soybean and sunflower oil prices boosted domestic mustard prices above the government’s support level of Rs 5,650 per quintal, incentivising farmers to expand the oilseed area in the upcoming kharif season, it added.

Indonesia and Malaysia are the major suppliers of refined palmolein and CPO to India, which mainly imports soy oil from Argentina and Brazil, and sunoil from Russia, Romania, Ukraine and Argentina.