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India Cut Off Palm Oil Imports because Sunflower Oil Was More Competitive

Doc. InfoSAWIT
India Cut Off Palm Oil Imports because Sunflower Oil Was More Competitive

InfoSAWIT, MUMBAI – Sunflower oil imports in India increased 51% in March 2024 to the previous month. It hit the highest record in the history. The main factor was that sunflower oil was cheaper (than palm oil) that encouraged distillers to escalate their imports while reducing palm oil imports, as five dealers mentioned, as quoted from Reuters.

The decreasing palm oil imports in India, as the biggest vegetable oil importer in the world could resist crude palm oil (CPO) price at Malaysia Derivative Exchange that was hardly close to its highest level in the past year. By the increasing sunflower oil price, it is hoped to reduce sunflower oil supply around Black Sea.

Many dealers predicted, sunflower oil imports in March 2024 reached 448.000 metric tons, escalated 51% from the previous month and hit the second highest record. Meanwhile CPO imports decreased 3,3% to be 481.000 tons, hit the lowest level since May 2023.

CEO Sunvin Group, Sandeep Bajoria, a vegetable oil broker said that the increasing sunflower oil imports happened for production issue that made CPO remain strong (expensive). This encouraged the buyers to get sunflower oil.

CPO was about US$ 1.020 per metric ton in India for May 2024 delivery while soyoil and sunflower oil was about US$ 1.000 and US$ 960 per ton for each, including the cost, insurance, and CIF, according to many deaers.

Managing Partner in GGN Research, Rajesh Patel, a vegetable oil dealer and broker, said that sunflower oil was very competitive in price and made sure that it would be higher imports for April and May 2024.

Soyoil imports increased in March 2024 that reached 27% to be 220.000 tons from the previous month. But the numbers would be much less than the average ones for monthly import in the previous year.

Vegetable oil imports in India in March hit the highest level in the past six months that reached 1,149 million tons or increased 18,7% from the previous month, still according to the dealers.

India purchased CPO particularly from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, while soyoil and sunflower oil were imported from Argentina, Brazil, Russia, and Ukraine. The official March 2024 import data would be published by Solvent Extractors' Association of India (SEA) in the midst of April 2024. (T2)