According to Solvent Extractors Association (SEA), reduced demand by India and depreciation of the rupee have led to fall in international prices of edible oils by 11% to 25% during past one year.
During the oil year, 2017-18 (Nov.- Oct.) import has increased in the first quarter. However imports decreased in the second and third quarter due to the revision of import duty in June 2018, fast rupee depreciation and also credit crunch has lead to negative growth in import of vegetable oil. Imports increased in the fourth quarter, as pipelines were dried up due to lesser import during June & July ’18 coupled with improved parity in the import of palm oil due to a reduction in the spread between palm oil and soft oils.
During Oil Year 2017-18 (Nov-Oct) Palm Oil import decreased to 87.01 lakh tons compared to 92.94 lakh tons during the last year and at the same time, soft oil import increased to 58.16 lakh tons from 57.83 lakh ton in last year, consisting of 30.47 lakh tons of soybean oil, 25.25 lakh tons of sunflower oil, 2.41 lakh tons of rape oil.
Import of refined oil sharply decreased to 21.36 lakh tons compared to 28.71 lakh tons during the same period of last year, however, crude oil import is almost stagnant and reported at 123.81 lakh tons compared to 122.06 lakh tons during the corresponding period of previous year.
“Import of Non-edible oils increased by 40% during the year and is reported at 509,748 tons compared to 362,822 tons in the previous year (2016-17). “Higher import of P.F.A.D. C.P.S. and RBD Palm Stearin at Nil duty seriously affecting domestic refiners and the main cause of the disparity in the domestic refining of palm oil,” SEA release stated.