NEW DELHI: India's import of cooking oils jumped 11 per cent to 15.12 lakh tonnes in August this year inspite of rupee depreciation as supplies dried up because of lesser shipments in previous months and improved parity in import of palm oil products, industry body SEA said Friday.
India, the world's leading cooking oil buyer, had purchased 13.61 lakh tonnes of edible and non-edible oils from the global market in the same month last year.
As per the latest data released by the Solvent Extractors' Association of India (SEA), palm oil imports rose by 6 per cent to 9,20,894 tonnes in August this year from 8,68,744 tonnes in the year-ago.
Among palm oils, the shipment of crude palm oil (CPO) rose to 6,49,570 tonnes from 6,00,019 tonnes, while crude palm kernel oil (CPKO) increased to 12,762 tonnes from 4,600 tones in the said period.
However, the shipment of RBD palmolein oil was lower at 2,58,562 tonnes in August 2018 compared with 2,64,125 tonnes in the year-ago.
The share of palm oil is more than 60 per cent of the country's total cooking oil imports.
SEA said that palm oil shipments remained higher in August "on improved parity in import of palm oil due to reduction in spread between palm oil and soft oils."
The overall imports have jumped inspite of rupee depreciation as pipelines dried up due to lesser import during June and July this year, it said in a statement.
Besides palm oils, the country has imported soft oils whose volumes rose to 5,44,700 tonnes in August this year from 4,68,181 tonnes in the same period last year.
Among soft oils, the shipment of soyabean oils rose to 3,12,049 tonnes in August 2018 from Rs 2,89,746 tonnes in the year ago, while that of sunflower oil increased to 2,08,142 tonnes from 1,33,396 tonnes in the said period.
However, the import of rapeseed oil dropped to 24,509 tonnes from 45,039 tonnes in the said period.
During the oil year ending October 2018, the SEA has projected overall cooking oils imports to be 147-148 lakh tonnes, lower than 154.4 lakh tonnes in the previous year.
Already, 122.78 lakh tonnes of cooking oils have been shipped during November 2017 till August this year.
India imports palm oil mainly from Indonesia and Malaysia, and a small quantity of crude soft oil, including soyabean oil from Latin America.
Sunflower oil is imported from Ukraine and Russia.