India’s edible oil imports surge ahead of festivals

India’s edible oil imports hit a record 1.85 million metric tons, marking a 5% increase. Refiners bought over 1 million tons of palm oil for the second consecutive month to stock up for upcoming festivals.

oil imports _TPCI

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In August, India’s edible oil imports surged by 5% to a historic high of 1.85 million metric tons. For the second consecutive month, refiners procured over 1 million tons of palm oil to prepare for the upcoming festivals.

Increased procurement by the world’s largest vegetable oil importer may lead to a decrease in palm oil inventories in Indonesia and Malaysia, potentially providing a boost to benchmark futures. This uptick in buying has also contributed to the strengthening of soybean oil futures and has the potential to diminish stockpiles in sunflower oil-producing nations around the Black Sea.

During the 2021/22 marketing year, India’s monthly average edible oil imports amounted to 1.17 million tons, as reported by the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA). In July, India’s imports surged to an unprecedented 1.76 million tons, setting a new record. Palm oil imports climbed from 1.09 million tons in July to 1.12 million tons in August, marking the highest level in nine months, as per estimates from industry experts.

“Refiners were making aggressive buying for the upcoming festival season,” said Rajesh Patel, managing partner at GGN Research, an edible oil trader and broker.

Sunflower oil imports experienced a notable 11.5% increase compared to the previous month, reaching 365,000 tons, the highest level seen in seven months. Additionally, soybean oil imports also saw a modest uptick of 3.7%, reaching 355,000 tons, according to estimates provided by industry dealers.

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