Palm oil imports rose by 19 per cent to 7,36,207 tonnes for the first time in February, after three consecutive months of fall, on higher shipments, industry body Solvent Extractors Association (SEA) said today.
India, the world's leading vegetable oil buyer, had imported 5,95,032 tonnes palm oil in February 2016.
The country's total vegetable oil imports rose by 17 per cent to 12.70 lakh tonnes in February this year from 10.82 lakh tonnes in the year-ago period.
The share of palm oil is 63 per cent of the country's total vegetable oil imports.
As per the SEA data, import of RBD palmolein increased to 2,33,313 tonnes in February this year from 1,77,806 tonnes in the year-ago period.
Among other palm oil products, the shipment of Crude Palm Oil (CPO) increased to 4,98,404 tonnes as against 4,08,228 tonnes, while the import of crude palm kernel oil (CPKO) dropped to 4,490 tonnes, from 8,998 tonnes in the said period.
Among soft oils, import of sunflower oil increased sharply to 2,09,422 tonnes in February this year, from 87,028 tonnes in the year-ago period.
The shipment of rapeseed mustard oil also increased to 36,886 tonnes from 17,336 tonnes, but import of soyabean oil fell to 2,51,740 tonnes from 3,66,121 tonnes in the period under review.
As on March 1, the stock of edible oils at various ports was estimated to be at 19.65 lakh tonnes, which is equal to 36 days requirements. India's monthly requirement is about 16.5 lakh tonnes, SEA said.
India imports palm oil, mainly from Indonesia and Malaysia, and a small quantity of crude soft oils, including soyabean oil from Latin America. Sunflower oil is imported from Ukraine and Russia.
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