India’s April palm oil imports jump 41% to three-month high, dealers say

Author Logo | Thu, 02 May 2024 09:23:40 GMT

By Rajendra Jadhav

MUMBAI, May 2 (Reuters) – India’s palm oil imports jumped by 41% in April from the previous month to reach the highest level in three months, as easing prices prompted refiners to increase purchases, five dealers told Reuters.

Higher palm oil purchases by India, the world’s biggest importer of vegetable oils, could support the benchmark Malaysian palm oil futures that are trading near their lowest level in three months.

Palm oil imports in April jumped to 682,000 metric tons, according to estimates from dealers.

Palm oil has become more attractive to buyers due to a recent price correction that eliminated its premium over soybean and sunflower oil, said Rajesh Patel, managing partner at edible oil trader and broker GGN Research.

Crude palm oil’s (CPO) imports are offered at about $920 a metric ton, including cost, insurance and freight (CIF), in India for June delivery, while soyoil and sunflower oil are offered around $920 and $945 a ton, respectively, dealers said.

A month ago, CPO was nearly $50 per ton more expensive than rival oils.


Palm oil imports are likely to rise around 700,000 tons in May as buyers are shifting towards palm oil by reducing sunflower oil imports, said Sandeep Bajoria, CEO of Sunvin Group, a vegetable oil brokerage.

Industry body the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) is likely to publish its data on April imports by mid-May.

India’s sunflower oil imports in April fell 48% from a month ago to 233,000 tons as port congestion delayed berthing of a few vessels, dealers said.

Soyoil imports surged 79% in April to 391,000 tons, the highest in 10 months, because of improved refining margins, dealers said.

Higher imports of palm oil and soyoil lifted the country’s edible oil imports by 13% to 1.3 million tons, they said.

India buys palm oil mainly from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, while it imports soyoil and sunflower oil from Argentina, Brazil, Russia and Ukraine. (Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)


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