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India's June palm oil imports rise to 6-month high on lower prices

Higher palm oil purchases by India, the world's biggest importer of vegetable oils, could support the benchmark Malaysian palm oil futures that are trading near their highest level in more than two months.
Last Updated : 02 July 2024, 12:21 IST

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Mumbai: India's palm oil imports rose by 3 per cent in June from the previous month to reach the highest level in six months on robust demand from refiners for upcoming festivals and as the oil traded at a discount to rival oils, five dealers told Reuters.

Higher palm oil purchases by India, the world's biggest importer of vegetable oils, could support the benchmark Malaysian palm oil futures that are trading near their highest level in more than two months.

Palm oil imports in June jumped to 788,000 metric tons, the highest since December, according to estimates from dealers.

"Buyers made purchases anticipating demand from the upcoming festival season. Additionally, palm oil was nearly $80 (Rs 6,676) per ton cheaper than other oils, which made it attractive," said Sandeep Bajoria, CEO of Sunvin Group, a vegetable oil brokerage.

Palm oil imports could rise to 850,000 tons in July, Bajoria added.

Crude palm oil's (CPO) imports are offered at about $985 (Rs 82,204) a metric ton, including cost, insurance and freight (CIF), in India for August delivery, while soyoil and sunflower oil are offered around $1,065 (Rs 88,881) and $1,050 (Rs 87,629) a ton, respectively, dealers said.

India's sunflower oil imports in June jumped 14 per cent from a month earlier to a record 467,000 tons, dealers said.

Sunflower oil imports could have exceeded 500,000 tons in June, but a few vessels were unable to berth at the ports before the month's end, said Rajesh Patel, managing partner at edible oil trader and broker GGN Research.

Soyoil imports fell 16 per cent in June to 273,000 tons, dealers said.

Industry body the Solvent Extractors' Association of India (SEA) is likely to publish its data on June imports by mid-July.

Higher imports of palm oil and sunflower oil lifted the country's edible oil imports by 2 per cent to 1.53 million tons, the highest in 10 months, they said.

India buys palm oil mainly from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, while it imports soyoil and sunflower oil from Argentina, Brazil, Russia and Ukraine.

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Published 02 July 2024, 12:21 IST

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