India's Vegetable oil imports witnessed a fall of 19 percent in January this year, according to data by industry body Solvent Extractors Association (SEA). The import volume during the month reached 1.24 million tonnes (mt) which was at 1.26 mt in the year-ago period.
Utilisation of available stock, good kharif Oilseeds crop and better domestic availability of edible oils helped in reducing the imports during the month. Lower purchases by end consumers due to the currency crunch occurred due to demonetization also affected the demand and import to some extent.
Import of Mustard Oil during the period increased to 17,878 tonnes from 7,461 tonnes last year, but the import of Soyabean Oil slipped to 166,573 tonnes from 441,200 tonnes during the same period last year. Import of Sunflower Oil increased sharply to 214,872 tonnes in January this year from 118,000 tonnes last year due to the large price discount compared to Soyabean Oil, SEA.
Edible oils stocks at various ports of the country as of February 1 is estimated to be at 1.73 mt which is equal to 32 days requirements. India's monthly requirement is about 1.65 mt, SEA said.