New Delhi: India's vegetable oils import rose by 27 percent to 8.32 lakh tonne in April this year on account of sharp increase in shipment of crude palm oil (CPO) and crude soft oils, industry body SEA said Wednesday.
Vegetable oils import stood at 6.54 lakh tonne in the same month of the previous year, it said in a statement.
India meets about 60 percent of its annual vegetable oil demand of 17-18 million tonne via imports. Palm oils make up 80 percent of the country's total vegetable oil imports.
"Indian refiners prefer to import crude soft oils over CPO in India, which has reflected in pattern of import in last few months," Solvent Extractors Association (SEA) said.
While soft crude oil import rose by two-fold to 2.83 lakh tonne in April 2014 from 1.39 lakh tonne a year-ago, the shipment of palm oil import fell by 7.45 percent to 5.36 lakh tonne from 4.98 lakh tonnes in the review period.
Among soft crude oils, the import of soybean increased to 1.13 lakh tonne in April, from 50,000 tonne in the same month last year. Similarly, import of sunflower oil rose to 1.70 lakh tonne from 88,368 tonne in April last year.
Among palm oil variants, the shipment of CPO rose by 87 percent to 4.38 lakh tonnes from 2.33 lakh tonnes, while the import of RBD palmolien declined sharply to 81,100 tonne from 2.53 lakh tonnes in the said period.
According to SEA, import of non-edible oils fell marginally to 13,325 tonne in April this year, as compared to 13,500 tonne in the year-ago period.
As on May 1, edible oils stock at various ports is estimated at 4.65 lakh tonne, of which CPO was 2.3 lakh tonne. About 7 lakh tonnes of edible oil is in the pipeline.
In spite of higher imports during April this year, SEA said that total stock of vegetable oils both at ports and in pipelines further reduced to 11.65 lakh tonne from 12 lakh tonne in the review period.
During the first six months of the 2013-14 marketing year (November-October), total palm oil imports have fallen to 36.78 lakh tonne, as against 43.11 lakh tonne in the same period of the previous year, SEA said.
India imports palm oil mainly from Indonesia and Malaysia.