NEW DELHI: Imports of vegetable oils, comprising edible and non-edible, have fallen 13% to nearly 9.12 lakh tonne during April, shows industry data. The Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) said the import of vegetable oils is reported at 9,11,846 tonne in April 2022, compared to 10,53,347 tonne in April 2021.
During November ’21 to April ’22 nearly 11.10 lakh tonne of sunflower oil was imported by India, mainly from Ukraine, Russia and Argentina, the association said adding that as Ukraine has banned the export of sunflower oil, its import in April stood at 54,426 tons only.
As it is a key ingredient for food processing industries, it is expected to further escalate cost of products and impact margins of consumer companies. Consumers, they may have to bear the brunt of ever-rising price hikes of several goods like biscuits, noodles, and soaps, among others.
“High prices of sunflower oil in the international market and lesser availability and high domestic prices have shrunk the demand and consumption of sunflower oil in India,” SEA said. Indonesia has also banned the export of palm oil from 28th April 2022, which says the association, has queered the pitch and make life difficult for hapless consumers across the world.
India imports about 6,00,000-6,50,000 tonnes of palm oil per month from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand and other countries. Recently, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that India is exploring new markets to import edible oil amid disruption in supplies from Ukraine and Indonesia. The two countries account for about 65% of India’s total annual edible oil imports.
The average retail price of sunflower oil has gone up 3.4% to Rs 192.22/kg as of May 13 from a month-ago price of Rs 185.84 and the price of palm oil has increased 4.97% to Rs 158.98 from Rs 151.45 a month back, according to government data.