Vegetable oil imports rose a sharp 17.8 per cent in June, due to non-availability of oilseeds for crushing from domestic sources.
Data collected by the trade body Solvent Extractors’ Association (SEA), showed the imports at 862,550 tonnes in June, as compared to 732,232 tonnes in the same month of the previous year.
Generally, imports decline in the first half (November to April) of the oil year due to higher availability at home. But, they gradually pick up in the next half when domestic output declines. B V Mehta, executive director, SEA, believes imports ( on the rise for the last two months) are likely to continue for the rest of the oil year. Stock of edible oils, as on July 1, at various ports, was estimated at 600,000 tonnes (crude palm oil, 400,000 tonnes, refined bleached and diodized palmolein, 65,000 tonnes, degummed soybean oil, 80,000 tonnes and crude sunflower oil, 55,000 tonnes), and about 900,000 tonnes are in the pipelines.
Stock at ports and in pipelines, both,is up 155,000 tonnes, and estimated at 1,500,000 tonnes, as compared to 1,345,000 tonnes a month ago. The import during the first eight months of the oil year (November 2010 to October 2011) was 5,130,224 tonnes, as compared to 5,581,670 tonnes in the same period last year. Between November 2010 and June 2011, import of RBD palmolein was down 18 per cent at 638,715 tonnes, Share of refined oil was 13 per cent, while crude oil comprised 87 per cent Palm oil import during the period was 3,959,300 tonnes, as compared to 3,998,728 tonnes in the same period last year. Soft oils import declined to 988,211 tonnes from 1,323,083 tonnes.