India's September palm imports jump 18%, soft oils hiked 11%

13 Oct 2022 | Min Jie Yaw

India’s palm oil imports in the month of September rose 18% against a month earlier, on higher palm olein imports and soft oils rose 11% according to an information release from the Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEA) published Thursday.

The world’s largest edible oil importer took in 1,171,913 mt of palm oil – consisting of refined bleached deodorised (RBD) palm olein, crude palm oil (CPO) and crude palm kernel oil (CPKO) – in September, while soft oils imports were at 421,625 mt.

Increased palm oil imports came because of a substantial price spread between palm and soybean oil, with a premium of at least $400/mt in September, making palm oil more attractive.

RBD palm olein imports are higher year-on-year, with Indian buyers favouring Indonesian exporters due to the more competitive prices and lower duties.

For September, India imported 716,221 mt and 428,211 mt of palm oil from Indonesia and Malaysia respectively, reflecting the demand for cheaper Indonesian material.

India’s soyoil imports in September increased slightly, rising 7% to 261,815 mt and 18% to 159,810 mt.

However, overall palm oil imports have fallen in the first 11 months of the current marketing year, which began in November 2021, with palm oil imports 8% lower than the same period a year ago at 7.03 million mt.

Soft oil imports rose 21% in the same period to 5.64 million mt.

For September, India’s edible oil imports came to 1.59 million mt, 16% higher than August.

Edible oil stock levels were at 2.44 million mt as of September 1, up 0.5% from a month earlier.