Palm oil imports to fall but soy, sunflower oil seen up

India's palm oil imports to fall, but soy, sunflower oil seen up

The drop is due to India's rising domestic edible oil production

Representative Image. Credit: iStock Photo

India's edible oil imports in 2022 are expected to fall by 2 per cent as the country boosts domestic production, with palm oil seen taking the biggest hit while soy and sunflower oil imports rise, the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) said on Thursday.

Total imports of oils and fats in the world's biggest vegetable oil buyer are seen at 13.8 million tonnes, down from 14.1 million tonnes in 2021, MPOC chief executive officer Wan Aishah Wan Hamid said in a conference.

The drop is due to India's rising domestic edible oil production and as a resurgence in coronavirus infections triggers fresh lockdowns squeezing consumption in the hotel, restaurant and catering sectors, she said.

India meets more than two-thirds of edible oil demand through imports, with palm oil mainly from top producers Indonesia and Malaysia accounting for more than 60 per cent of total imports. But the South Asian nation has been trying to bring down overseas purchases by promoting local oilseed production.

Domestic production in India is set to increase by 6 lakh tonnes to 11.8 million tonnes this year due to increased rapeseed oil and mustard oil production, Wan Aishah said.

India last month said it would allow imports of refined palm oil until December 2022 and slashed import taxes until March to cool near-record prices.

"These measures will affect the buying pattern of the Indian edible oil industry and will also have an impact on the overall dynamics of palm oil imports in India," Wan Aishah said.

India's palm oil imports are seen declining to 8.1 million tonnes in 2022 from 8.5 million tonnes last year, she said.

Soyoil imports are seen rising to 3.2 million tonnes from 3.1 million tonnes in 2021, while sunflower oil imports should rise to 1.9 million tonnes from 1.8 million tonnes last year.

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