Palm Oil Purchases Take India's August Edible Oil Imports to Record Level

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ten data blog05-09-2023

palm oil,india palm oil,india palm oil import

India's edible oil imports rose 5 percent to a record 1.85 million tons in August, as refiners bought more than 1 million tons of palm oil for a second straight month to build up stocks for the upcoming festive season, dealers said.

Increased purchases by the world's largest vegetable oil importer may help lower palm oil stocks in Indonesia and Malaysia and support benchmark futures. The purchases helped strengthen soybean oil futures and may reduce stocks in Black Sea sunflower oil producers.

India's monthly edible oil imports averaged 1.17 million tons in the 2021/22 marketing year, the Solvent Extraction Association (SEA) trade body said. 1.76 million tons were imported by India in July, again a record high.

Palm oil imports increased to 1.12 million tons in August from 1.09 million tons in July, the highest level in nine months, according to average dealer estimates.

SEA is likely to release August vegetable oil import data by mid-September.

"Refiners are buying in a big way for the upcoming festive season," said Rajesh Patel, managing partner at edible oil trader and broker GGN Research.

"Retail demand is moderate, but the industry expects it to pick up in the coming months."

Distributors estimated that sunflower oil imports rose 11.5 percent from a year earlier to 365,000 tons, the highest in seven months, while soybean oil imports rose a modest 3.7 percent to 355,000 tons.

Refiners expect demand during the upcoming festive season to increase purchases as palm oil's discount relative to soybean and sunflower oils continues to widen, said Sandeep Bajoria, chief executive of vegetable oil brokerage Sunvin Group.

India buys palm oil mainly from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand and imports soybean and sunflower oils from Argentina, Brazil, Russia and Ukraine.

Imports surged in August as several vessels initially scheduled to unload at the Kandla port in July ended up unloading in August due to congestion at the port, a New Delhi-based dealer of a global trading company said.

Concerns over local soybean and peanut production due to dry weather also prompted refiners to import more edible oil, the dealer added.

India experienced its driest August in more than a century, with the country receiving 36 percent less rain than normal during the month.

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