By Claire Leow/ Bloomberg
Jakarta: India, the world’s second-biggest vegetable oil buyer after China, may import at least 14% more edible oils this year as an expanding economy spurs consumer demand, an industry official said.
Imports may rise to at least 5 million tonne in the year to October, from 4.4 million tonne, A. R. Sharma, president of Solvent Extractors’ Association of India, said. Palm oil would account for 3.5 million to 3.7 million tonne, from 2.7 million earlier, Sharma said at a palm oil conference in Jakarta.
Malaysia and Indonesia, which control 85% of global palm oil production, are expanding output to take advantage of rising demand and prices, led by India and China. The commodity is used as a cooking oil, in soaps and as an alternative fuel.
Indonesia may ship between 2.8 million and 3 million tonne of palm oil to Indias in the period, Sharma said. For cooking, Indian consumers prefer palm oil for use as a solid fat, called ghee.