The country’s import of vegetable oils during May 2018 has dropped by 7% to 12,86,240 tonne as compared to 13,84,439 tonne in May 2017.
According to data compiled by Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEAI), it consists of 12,46,462 tonne of edible oils and 39,778 tonne of non-edible oils.
The overall import of vegetable oils during November 2017 to May 2018 is reported at 86,04,535 tonne as compared to 85,22,704 tonne, which is up by 1%. The current duty structure coupled with rupee depreciation and credit crunch in the market has caused the slowdown in import, said B V Mehta, executive director, SEAI.
“In May 2018, for the first time, we have seen that import of soft oils (soya, sunflower & rape) is higher than palm oil with soft oils share at 60% while palm oil just 40%,” he said.
Also, soft oils import and sunflower oil import are highest in any single month since India started importing edible oils in 1994, he said, adding that the stock of edible oils as on June 1, 2018 at various ports is estimated at 10,02,000 tonne (CPO 3,20,000 tonne, RBD Palmolein 1,70,000 tonne, Degummed Soybean Oil 2,30,000 tonne, Crude Sunflower Oil 2,70,000 tonne and 12,000 tonne of Rapeseed (Canola) Oil) and about 16,60,000 tonne in pipelines.
Total stock at ports and in pipelines is reported at 26,62,000 tonne which is an increase by 3,24,000 tonne from 23,38,000 tonne in May 2018. India’s total demand for edible oils during 2017-18 is estimated at 23 lakh tonne. The monthly requirement is about 19 lakh tonne and operate at 30 days stock against which currently holding stock over 26.62 lakh tonne is equal to 42 days requirements. This is the ever highest stock putting pressure on domestic prices of edible oils, he said.
During November 2017-May 2018, overall palm oil import has decreased to 50,70,576 tonne from 51,05,481 tonne, while soft oils import increased to 33,22,637 tonne from 32,16,700 tonne during the same period of last year. Also, a parcel of 3,000 tonne of cottonseed oil from the US arrived during April 2018.
In last one year, in international market, prices of edible oils have gone down by 3-10% due to larger supply, and at the same time rupee depreciation by nearly 5% in one year, nullifying the advantage of price reduction, Mehta pointed out.
Moreover, the import of non-edible oils during November 2017 to May 2018 is reported at 2,11,322 tonne compared to 2,00,523 tonne during the same period last year, a rise of 5%.
This is mainly due to higher import of PFAD and CPS at nil duty under actual user condition, seriously affecting domestic refiners and is the main cause of disparity in domestic refining of palm oil, he said.