India’s Sept edible oil imports up 23%- trade

India’s Sept edible oil imports up 23%- trade

By Reuters

New Delhi: India’s edible oil imports in September jumped 22.9% from a year earlier due to festival demand and a poor crop, a trade body said on 15 October.

India, one of the world’s biggest importers of edible oils, bought 446,721 tonnes in September, up from 363,569 tonnes in the same month a year earlier, the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India said in a statement.

“Imports rose to meet a rise in demand for edible oils during the festival season and also due to a lower oilseed crop," said B.V. Mehta, executive director of the association.

India annually consumes about 10 million tonnes of edible oils, with imports contributing half of that. It buys palm oil from Malaysia and Argentina and soyoil from Brazil and Argentina.

Imports in the first 11 months of the oil year that ends on 31 October, rose more than 11% to 4.2 million tonnes, the trade body said. Oilseed output in 2006/07 is estimated at 23.9 million tonnes, down from 27.9 million a year ago, Mehta said.

The association said imports of palm products in the 11 months ended September rose to 2.7 million tonnes from 2.1 million tonnes a year ago, while soft oils purchases fell to 1.4 million tonnes from 1.6 million tonnes.

Among soft oils, soy oils purchases between November and September fell to 1.2 million tonnes from 1.4 million tonnes in the year ago period, the association said. India imposes 45% customs duty on crude palm oil and 40% on crude soyoil.