Despite rupee depreciation, import of vegetable (cooking) oils in August jumped to 15.12 lakh tonnes from 11.19 lakh tonnes in July, as pipelines were dried up due to lesser import during June and July 2018. This coupled with improved parity in import of palm oil due to reduction in spread between palm oil and soft oils, resulted into higher import.
According to the data compiled by the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA), the import of vegetable oils during August 2018 is reported at 15,12,597 tonnes compared to 13,61,272 tonnes in August 2017 consisting 14,65,594 tonnes of edible oils and 47,003 tonnes of non-edible oils, an increase by 11%.
The overall import of vegetable oils during November 2017 to August 2018 is reported at 1,22,78,673 tonnes. Import from neighboring countries particularly Bangladesh and Nepal under SAFTA by land route continued. As per unconfirmed reports, about 800-1000 tonnes either in tank lorries or consumer packs per day, entered eastern India, seriously affecting domestic players, BV Mehta, executive director, SEA said. SEA has once again taken up this issue at higher level to regulate the import, he said.
The total of vegetable oils (edible plus non-edible) the oil year 2017-18, ending October 2018 is expected around 147.0 – 148.0 lakh tonnes, lesser by about 700,000 – 800,000 tonnes from previous year import of 154.4 lakh tonnes. The stock of edible oils as on September 1,2018 at various ports is estimated at 994,000 tonnes (CPO 320,000 tonnes, RBD Palmolein 180,000 tonnes, Degummed Soybean Oil 240,000 tonnes, Crude Sunflower Oil 240,000 tonnes and 14,000 tonnes of Rapeseed (Canola) Oil) and about 1,580,000 tonnes in pipelines.)
Total stock at ports and in pipelines is reported at record level of 25,74,000 tonnes, up by 99,000 tonnes from 2,475,000 tonnes in August 2018. India’s total demand for edible oils during 2017-18 is estimated at 230 lakh tonnes. Monthly requirement is about 19.00 lakh tonnes and operate at 30 days stock against which currently holding stock over 25.74 lakh tonnes equal to 40 days requirements stock has increased due to larger import of palm products during August 2018.
During November 2017 to August 2018, overall Palm oil import has decreased to 70,28,797 tonnes from 76,14,422 tonnes, while Soft Oils import marginally increased at 48,91,286 tonnes compared to 48,27,598 tonnes during the same period of last year.