Palm oil imports rose by 10.06 per cent to 92.93 lakh tonnes in 2016-17 marketing year that ended in October due to lower domestic production, industry body Solvent Extractors Association (SEA) said today.
India, the world's leading vegetable oil buyer, had imported 84.43 lakh tonnes of palm oils during the last marketing year (November-October).
The country's total vegetable oils (edible and non- edible) import increased by 4.75 per cent to 154.40 lakh tonnes in 2016-17 from 147.38 lakh tonnes the last year.
The share of palm oil is more than 60 per cent of the total vegetable oil import.
According to the SEA, the country's imports came down in the first quarter of 2016-17 marketing year because of good domestic oilseeds crop and better supply of edible oil.
Imports, however, rose in the rest of the quarters due to disparity in crushing that led to lower domestic production of vegetable oil, it said.
Among palm oil products, import of RBD palmolein increased to 28.71 lakh tonnes in the 2016-17 marketing year from 26.23 lakh tonnes in the year-ago.
The shipment of crude palm oil (CPO) increased to 63.35 lakh tonnes, as against 57.49 lakh tonnes, while the import of crude palm kernel oil (CPKO) jumped 87,000 tonnes, from 71,000 tonnes in the said period.
Among soft oil, import of sunflower oil increased to 21.69 lakh tonnes in 2016-17 from 15.16 lakh tonnes last year.
The shipment of soybean oil declined to 33.16 lakh tonnes from 42.35 lakh tonnes, while that of mustard seed oil to 2.93 lakh tonnes from 3.77 lakh tonnes in the said period.
"Since October 2016 and onwards, the landed prices of RBD Palmolein and CPO have remained more or less the same encouraging larger import of RBD Palmolein at the cost of CPO. The spread between palm oil and soft oil also reduced encouraging larger import of soft oils," the SEA said.
India's monthly requirement is about 18 lakh tonnes and has a stock of over 23.44 lakh tonnes that is equal to 39 days of requirement.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)