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India's Edible Oil Import Bill Increases by 34% at Rs 1.57 lakh crore: SEA

India imported 131.3 lakh tonnes of edible oils in the 2020-21 oil year for Rs 1.17 lakh crore last year.

Sonali Behera
India consumption and imports jump to  131.3 lakh tonnes of edible oils in the 2020-21 oil year for in the previous year.
India consumption and imports jump to 131.3 lakh tonnes of edible oils in the 2020-21 oil year for in the previous year.

According to a report released on Monday by the Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEA), India's edible oil import bill went up by 34.18% to Rs 1.57 lakh crore in the oil year that ended in October 2022. Meanwhile, in terms of volume, it has increased by 6.85% to 140.3 lakh tonnes.

SEA estimated that India, the largest consumer of vegetable oil in the world, imported 131.3 lakh tonnes of edible oils for Rs 1.17 lakh crore in the previous oil year (November-October).

The import grew gradually during the first two quarters before slowing down in the third.

According to the report, it surged once again in the fourth quarter as a result of Indonesia relaxing its ban on palm oil and a dramatic drop in global pricing that encouraged more people to purchase it from India.

SEA claims that this year's significant price volatility in the palm oil market had an impact on India's palm oil purchases.

Palm oil briefly cost as much as soft oils in March and April. Indonesia's decision to forbid exports had a further negative impact on its accessibility in May and June. According to the report, India's imports of soft oil increased while its purchases of palm oil fell.

As a result, soft oil imports increased to 61.15 lakh tonnes this year from 48.12 lakh tonnes the year before, SEA said in the statement. Meanwhile, palm oil imports decreased to 79.15 lakh tonnes during the oil year 2021–22 from 83.21 lakh tonnes the year before.

RBD palmolein imports increased by more than two times to 18.41 lakh tonnes in 2021–22 from 6.86 lakh tonnes the year prior, according to SEA.

Contrarily, imports of crude palm oil (CPO) fell by 20% to 59.94 lakh tonnes from 74.91 lakh tonnes over the same period, while imports of crude palm kernel oil (CPKO) fell by 80% to 80,000 tonnes from 1,43,000 tonnes.

As one of the soft oils, soyabean oil imports rose significantly to 41.71 lakh tonnes this year from 28.66 lakh tonnes in 2020–21, SEA said in a statement. This is because there was a smaller supply of sunflower oil the previous year.

In a similar vein, imports of sunflower oil increased slightly from 18.94 lakh tonnes to 19.44 lakh tonnes this year.

The country had an opening stock of 24.55 lakh tonnes of edible oils as of November 1. India now operates with a 40-day stock, the greatest amount of inventory retained by India, and needs roughly 19 lakh tonnes of edible oils every month.

RBD Palmolein and CPO are mostly supplied by Indonesia and Malaysia to India.

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