India’s imports of palm oil increased by 29 per cent in November compared to the previous month as local refiners found it profitable to purchase the tropical oil at a significant discount to rivals soy oil and sun oil.
Increased imports by India, the largest consumer of palm oil in the world, would bolster benchmark Malaysian palm oil prices, which have almost halved from this year’s record highs, and assist top producer Indonesia in reducing its inventory.
As the price differential between palm oil and soy oil has been shrinking over the past several weeks, Mumbai-based dealer with a global trading firm predicted that even in December, imports of palm oil would be around one million tonnes, but that they would start to decline after that.
Due to the tropical oil’s tendency to solidify at lower temperatures, India’s imports of palm oil typically decline throughout the winter. But because of greater reductions this year, imports were high at the start of the winter in November.
Imports of soy oil decreased by 36 per cent from one month earlier to 215,000 tonnes in November, while imports of sunflower oil increased by 10 per cent to 160,000 tonnes, according to the dealers.