Crude palm oil import surges 45% in January: Trade body

India’s crude palm oil imports in January jumped 44.99 per cent y-o-y to 7.67 lakh tonnes, the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) said.

The crude palm oil imports during January 2020 stood at 5.29 lakh tonnes, SEA said in a statement.

Import duty reduction from November 2, 2020, on crude palm oil (CPO) was reduced to 27.5 per cent from 37.5 per cent, while duty on soft oils remained unchanged at 35 per cent, which encouraged larger import of palm oil, SEA added.

Indonesia and Malaysia are the major suppliers of palm oil to India.

During last month, Malaysia was the major supplier of CPO (4.97 lakh tonnes), followed by Indonesia (2,70 lakh tonnes), according to data from SEA.

The overall import of vegetable oils during January, however, witnessed a decline of 8 per cent at 10.96 lakh tonne compared to 11.95 lakh tonne in January 2020. It consisted of 10.74 tonne of edible oils and 22,034 tonne of non-edible oils last month.

Meanwhile, the overall import of vegetable oils during November 2020-January 2021 was reported at 35.56 lakh tonne, up by 3 per cent as compared with 34.51 lakh tonne a year ago.

The imports of soybean oil drastically declined in January to 88,667 tonnes, compared with 2.60 lakh tonnes in the same month of 2020 following logistic disruptions in Argentina.

SEA stated that import of soybean oil in January 2021 was the lowest, as truckers’ strikes in Argentina seriously affected loading during November 2020, resulting in lesser vessels of soybean oil arrival in India.

The stock of edible oils as on February 1, 2021, at various ports was estimated at 6.57 lakh tonne (CPO 3.58 lakh tonne, RBD palmolein 5,000 tonne, degummed soybean oil 1.18 lakh tonne and crude sunflower oil 1.76 lakh tonne) and pipeline 11.30 lakh tonne.

The stock marginally decreased by 28,000 tonne to 17.87 lakh tonne as on February 1, 2021, from 18.15 lakh tonne as on January 1, 2021.

Palm fatty acid distillate (PFAD) and palm stearin are the major non-edible oils being imported by the soap and ole-chemical industry.

Import of non-edible oils during November 2020-January 2021 declined by 19 per cent to 70,028 tonne as compared with 86,386 tonne in November 2019-January 2020, the SEA data added.