Weak rupee, high custom duty trigger 2% fall in vegetable oil imports in September

By: | Published: October 17, 2018 1:04 AM

Vegetable oil imports fell 2% to 14.91 lakh tonnes in September owing to rupee depreciation and higher custom duty, Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEA) said.

Weak rupee, high custom duty trigger 2% fall in vegetable oil imports in September

Vegetable oil imports fell 2% to 14.91 lakh tonnes in September owing to rupee depreciation and higher custom duty, Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEA) said.

During September 2017, oil imports touched 15.19 lakh tonnes. The overall import of vegetable oils during November 2017 to September 2018 (11 months) is reported at 137.69 lakh tonnes compared to 142.72 lakh tonnes, down by 3.5%. The oil year runs from November to October.

“Despite rupee depreciation, in August and September import of vegetable oil jumped, as pipelines were dried up due to lesser import during June and July 2018 months, coupled with improved parity in import of palm oil due to reduction in spread between palm oil and soft oils, resulted into higher imports, BV Mehta, executive director, SEA said.

“Prices of edible oils have gone down by up to 11 to 25% due to excess supply in the world market and fall in demand from India during the last one year,” he said. The rupee has depreciated by nearly 15% which has made import expensive. During September 2018 average forex rate was $1 at `72.28, which has further depreciated to `73.83,” he pointed out.

The import of non-edible oils during November 2017 to September 2018 period stood at 427,761 tonnes compared to 329,542 tonnes during the same period previous year, up by 30%. According to SEA, historically, Palm oil constitutes a major share in import by India.

In last two months, the difference between CIF India landed price of CPO and RBD Palmolein increased, encouraging import of CPO for domestic refining. During November 2017 to  September 2018,  the overall Palm Oil import has decreased to 7,947,472 tonnes from 8,546,059 tonnes, while Soft Oils import remained at same level and reported 5,394,614 tonnes from 5,397,244 tonnes during the same period last year.

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