The decline of import in April and May is mainly due to the shutdown and disruption in demand from hotels, restaurants, canteens and public functions, according to SEA.
India’s overall import of edible oils from November 2019 till May 2020 fell by 18% year-on-year (y-o-y) to 6.8 lakh tonne due to reduction in import of RBD Palmolein by 76%. According to the provisional data compiled by the Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEA), the import of edible oils in May 2020 was reported at 7.07 lakh tonne compared to 11.8 lakh tonne in May 2019, down by 40% on y-o-y basis. This is the lowest since 2011 during the month of May.
The decline of import in April and May is mainly due to the shutdown and disruption in demand from hotels, restaurants, canteens and public functions, according to SEA. RBD Palmolein was placed under the restricted list from January 8, 2020, so imports had drastically reduced. In May 2020, import of RBD Palmolein was at 16,250 tonne, against 3.71 lakh tonne in May 2019, a fall of 96%, BV Mehta, executive director, SEA, said.
Last year, Malaysia shipped excess RBD Palmolien to India taking the benefit of lower duty concession. The imports of crude palm oil (CPO)and crude palm kernel oil (CPKO) also registered a 14% decline during November 2019 to May 2020 period, as compared to the same period the previous year, he said.
This decline in the imports of palm products have directly benefited the imports of soyabean and sunflower , which is evident by their increase in imports by 7% and 11%, respectively, due to spike in household demand for consumer packs, he pointed out.