During the same period last year, vegetable oil imports were recorded at 863,917 tonnes, the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEAI) said in a statement recently.
Vegtable oil imports during September 2014 consist of 1.01 million tonnes of edible oils and 28,853 tonnes on non-edible oils.
Overall during November 2013 to September 2014, imports of vegetable oils were up by 9.5 per cent at 10.57 million tonnes, as compared to 9.65 million tonnes.
SEAI said that currently edible oil prices are at historical low since 2008 and local prices are also at a level where Indian oilseeds growing farmers will be in distress with a kharif harvest just started.
There is urgent need to support the farmers by increasing import duty on crude vegetable oils from 2.5 per cent to 10 per cent and refined vegetable oils from 10 per cent to 25 per cent, only a viable option, SEAI stressed.
As on 1 October, 2014, current stock of edible oils at various ports is estimated at 715,000 tonnes (CPO 350,000 tonnes, RBD palmolein 85,000 tonnes, degummed soybean oil 150,000 tonnes, crude Sunflower oil 120,000 tonnes and 10,000 tonnes of rapeseed (canola) oil and about one million tonnes in pipelines.
Total stock, both at ports and in pipelines decreased to 1.71 million tonnes from 1.82 million tonnes in previous months.
During November 2013 to September 2014, import of refined oil (RBD palmolein) is reported at 1.43 million tonnes, against 2.06 million tonnes during the same period of last year.
Import of crude oil has increased to 8.95 million tonnes, as compared to 7.31 million tonnes during the same period of last year, thanks to higher import of crude soybean, sunflower and canola oil, which constitute over 30 per cent of the total crude oil import.
Import of CPO again rising, thanks to nil export duty on palm products announced by Malaysia for two months effective from 1 September, 2014 and nil duty by Indonesia as on 1 October, 2014 with an aim to transfer their burgeoning inventory in to India.
This has resulted in increased downward pressure on domestic prices of oils and oilseeds during peak kharif harvesting season, SEAI statement adds.
Overall palm products touched to 7.1 million tonnes where as soft oils share increased to 32 per cent compared to 20 per cent last year.
The overall import of non-edible oils during the period was down to 184,779 tonnes, against 276,786 tonnes imported during the same period of last year, registering a drop of 33 per cent negative growth.