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Duty cut lifts India’s palm oil imports in Sept to a record 1.4 mn tonnes

October 1, 2021 05:19 PM

Duty cut lifts India's palm oil imports in Sept to a record 1.4 mn tonnes
Edible oil consumption usually jumps in the December quarter with the start of the wedding season as well as festivals like Dhanteras and Diwali.

India’s palm oil imports in September more than doubled from a year ago to a record 1.4 million tonnes as buyers increased purchases of refined palm oil ahead of key festivals and to take advantage of newly lowered duties, brokers and dealers said.

Higher purchases by India, the world’s biggest buyer of vegetable oils, could support palm oil prices that are trading near a record high hit earlier this week.

The country’s total vegetable oil imports in September jumped 72% from a year ago to a record 1.8 million tonnes, including more than 400,000 tonnes of refined palm oil, Sandeep Bajoria, chief executive of Sunvin Group, a vegetable oil broker, said.

“Imports jumped because of government decision to lower import tax and festive season demand,” said Bajoria. India lifted restrictions on imports of refined palm oil and slashed base import taxes on palm oil, soyoil and sunflower oil in recent months as New Delhi tries to cool near-record price rises.

Also Read: India’s energy demand grows at slower pace in September

Edible oil consumption usually jumps in the December quarter with the start of the wedding season as well as festivals like Dhanteras and Diwali.

Top palm oil producer Indonesia supplied a big chunk of India’s palm oil imports in September as it was offering refined palm oil at a discount to number two supplier Malaysia, said a Mumbai-based dealer with a global trading firm. Usually soybean oil expands its share of India’s edible oil market from October as freshly harvest soybean supplies get processed, the dealer said.

“This year, excessive rainfall in September has delayed soybean harvesting. Besides, demand for local soymeal is weak since imported soymeal is available at lower prices,” he said.

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