Vegetable oil imports slip 2% to 11.02 lakh ton in November on lower refined palm oil shipments

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NEW DELHI: India’s vegetable oil imports fell 2 per cent in November to 11.02 lakh tonnes due to a sharp decline in inward shipments of refined palm oil, according to industry data.

The marketing year for vegetable oils (edible and non-edible oils) runs from November to October.

“Import of vegetable oils during November 2020 is reported at 11,02,899 tonnes compared to 11,27,220 tonnes for November 2019,” Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) said in a statement.

Edible oil imports declined to 10,83,329 tonnes in November from 11,00,424 tonnes in the same month last year. Non-edible oil shipments fell to 19,570 tonnes from 26,796 tonnes during the period under review.

During November 2020, only 10,000 tonnes of refined oil (RBD Palmolein) was imported as against 1,22,409 tonnes in the same month last year.

SEA said the country is importing crude oil more as RBD Palmolein has been placed under restricted list and imports are allowed but subject to licence.

In view of this, import of crude oil increased to 10,73,329 tonnes in November this year as compared to 9,78,015 tonnes in the same period last year.

Palm oil import decreased to 6,18,468 tonnes from 6,72,363 tonnes in November last year, while soft oil import increased to 4,64,861 tonnes from 4,28,061 tonnes in the year-ago period.

“However, there is a change in import duty on CPO (crude palm oil) and its import duty reduced to 27.5 per cent from 37.5 per cent, while duty on soft oils remained unchanged with effect from November 27, 2020. This reduction of duty on CPO may encourage larger import of palm oil at the cost of soft oils import in the coming month,” SEA Executive Director BV Mehta said.

India’s import of vegetable oils fell 13 per cent in 2019-20 oil year that ended last month to 135.25 lakh tonnes, the lowest in six years, on lower demand of cooking oils from hotels, restaurants and cafeterias since April due to COVID-19 pandemic.

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