India’s April palm oil imports jump 34 pc on lower global prices

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New Delhi, India’s palm oil imports registered a 34.11 per cent jump on-year in April to 6,84,000 tonnes, buoyed by a fall in global prices, the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) said on Tuesday. Palm oil accounted for 52 per cent of India’s total edible oil imports of 13,04,409 tonnes in April, the trade body said in a statement, adding that sunflower and soybean oils import stood at 6,20,315 tonnes. Including non-edible oils, overall vegetable oil imports rose 26 per cent in April to 13,18,528 tonnes compared to 10,50,189 tonnes a year ago, it said. Bearish global prices encouraged higher imports of refined, bleached and deodorized (RBD) palmolein and crude palm oil (CPO), which declined by nearly USD 100 a tonne last month, SEA said. Soybean oil prices fell USD 40 per tonne globally, while the sunflower oil rate dropped just USD 15 a tonne over the last month, it added. Among palm oils, RBD palmolein imports climbed to 1,24,228 tonnes as against 1,12,248 tonnes in the year-ago period. CPO (crude palm oil) shipments increased 36 per cent to 5,36,248 tonnes over 3,93,856 tonnes, while crude palm kernel oil imports jumped nearly 6-fold to 23,618 tonnes from 3,990 tonnes. For soft oils, soybean oil imports surged to 3,85,514 tonnes from 2,62,455 tonnes, though sunflower oil inflows eased to 2,34,801 tonnes from 2,49,122 tonnes. As of May 1, India held 22.45 lakh tonnes of edible oil stockpiles, SEA said. India is the world’s biggest edible oil importer. Indonesia and Malaysia are the major suppliers of RBD palmolein and CPO, while soybean oil is imported from Argentina and Brazil, and sunflower oil from Russia, Romania and Ukraine.

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