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Monday, May 17, 2010

Vegetable oil imports decline 22 % in April

Owing to already piled-up stocks at ports, India’s vegetable oil imports dipped by 22 per cent to 5,43,000 tonnes in April as against 6,99,000 tonnes in the year-ago period, the Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEA) has said.

The import of vegetable oils in the first six months of the current oil year starting November was reported at 42,90,000 tonnes, almost the same as the last year figure of 42,92,000 tonnes, it said in a statement. “The shipments have slowed down from February onwards due to excessive import of vegetable oil in the first quarter of the current oil year (October-November),” SEA Executive Director B V Mehta said.

He added that the edible oil stocks at various ports as on May 1 were estimated to be 5,75,000 tonnes and about 6,50,000 tonnes was in the pipelines.

At present, there was a total stock of 12,25,000 tonnes, equivalent to a month’s requirement of the country, he added.

According to data released by SEA, of the total vegetable oil import in April, edible oil accounted for 5,04,000 tonnes and non-edible for 38,842 tonnes. During April 2009, India imported 6,59,000 tonnes of edible and 39,919 tonnes of non-edible oil.

The government had scrapped the import duties on crude edible oils and reduced the duty on refined oils by 7.5 per cent to keep the prices of cooking oils under check.

According to the data, refined oil share was 13 per cent of the total edible oil imports, while the rest 87 per cent was crude.

Crude palm oil import declined to 2,70,000 tonnes in April, as against 4,31,000 tonnes in the year-ago period. The shipment of RBD palmolein dipped to 67,604 tonnes from 1,03,000 tonnes.

However, the import of soybean oil increased to 84,888 tonnes from 26,206 tonnes in the review period. Malaysia palm oil futures hit a more than three-week low on Thursday as a stronger ringgit and weaker crude oil weighed on market sentiment, prompting players to unwind some positions.

The benchmark July crude palm oil futures on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange closed down 1.4 percent or 35 ringgit to 2,472 ringgit ($772.5) a tonne after falling at one point to as low as 2,466 ringgit, a level unseen since April 20.

Raising concerns about the large stock of domestic oilseeds still available for crushing, Mehta said, “If the government does not encourage processing of local seeds through policy measures like imposing import duty on vegetable oil, then carry-over stocks may reach alarming levels discouraging sowing of the crop during the kharif season.”

He added that currently, about 1,45,00,000 tonnes of oilseeds was available for crushing in the country. According to SEA, India, the world’s largest vegetable oil importer, was expected to buy about nine million tonnes of vegetable oil from the global market in the 2009-10 oil year (November-October).

1 comment:

Guava said...

the stand you took here is worth a praise.

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