Edible oil import may jump by15%

Mumbai, Mar 29 | Updated: Mar 30 2007, 06:49am hrs
The countrys edible oil import is expected to rise by 15% to 51 lakh tonne during the current oil season 2006-07 (starting November) compared to actual import of 44.17 lakh tonne recorded for the season 2005-06 due to mismatch in demand-supply.

The total edible oil import for the current season may comprise 37 lakh tonne of palm oil complex and 14 lakh tonne of soft oils like soya oil, sun oil and rape oil. India will have to depend on imports to the extent of about 40% of its consumption requirement, BV Mehta, executive director, Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEA) told FE.

The total availability of domestic edible oils for the current season 2006-07 is estimated at 77 lakh tonne against 80 lakh tonne in previous season, down by 3 lakh tonne. Total consumption is expected to increase to nearly 139 lakh tonne. Thus, the country may import 51 lakh tonne of edible oils, 3.5 lakh tonne of vanaspati and 7.5 lakh tonne of non-edible oils.

The total import of edible oils during November 2006 to February 2007 period was reported at 10.83 lakh tonne compared to 10.46 lakh tonne in the same period last year, up by 4%.

Total production of nine major oilseeds for current season 2006-07 is likely to be lower by 13 lakh tonne to 226.7 lakh tonne compared to the previous years bumper production of 239.7 lakh tonne as estimated at the All India Seminar on Rabi oilseeds held at New Delhi on March 17.

Nearly 80% of the countrys domestic oil output comes from the primary source that is nine cultivated oilseeds and two major oil-bearing materials (cottonseed and copra).

Malaysia and Indonesia are major suppliers of palm oil while Argentina and Brazil are major suppliers of soya oil to India.