(MENAFN- KNN India) New Delhi, Feb 13 (KNN) According to the Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEA), the country's vegetable oil imports saw a significant decrease of 28 per cent in January, totalling 12 lakh tonnes compared to the same period last year.
This drop, reported on Monday, contrasts with the 16.61 lakh tonnes imported in January 2023.
As a major global buyer of vegetable oil, India experienced a notable downturn in total imports during the first quarter (November-January) of the current oil year.
Import figures fell by 23 per cent, reaching 36.73 lakh tonnes compared to the previous year's 47.73 lakh tonnes for the same quarter.
SEA's analysis revealed that out of the total vegetable oils imported in January, approximately 7,82,983 tonnes comprised palm oil, while 4,08,938 tonnes constituted soft oil.
Highlighting potential market shifts, SEA cautioned that despite current low prices of edible oils, they may rise in the coming year due to lower production, global economic factors, and supply constraints.
The availability of palm oil for edible oil purposes has declined, as leading producers Malaysia and Indonesia prioritise its use in biodiesel production, potentially leading to price increases.
Moreover, SEA noted that global palm oil output experienced a seasonal decline in January-March 2024, leading to reduced stocks in both producing and importing countries.
India primarily imports palm oil from Indonesia and Malaysia, along with a small quantity of crude soft oil, including soybean, from Argentina. Additionally, sunflower oil is sourced from Ukraine and Russia.
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