Following a two-year decline in consumption, palm oil imports to India may reach a four-year high.

According to a senior industry official who spoke to Reuters on Tuesday, India’s imports of palm oil might increase 16% to a four-year high of 9.17 million tonnes in 2022/23 as demand is expected to increase following two years of contraction due to COVID-led lockdowns. Palm oil futures are already trading near their highest level in four months, and increased purchases by the world’s largest importer of vegetable oils might help them rise much further.

“The pandemic caused a two-year decline in consumption. Due to fewer limitations and lower prices, it would increase by roughly 5% this year, according to Sudhakar Desai, head of the Indian Vegetable Oil Producers’ Association. Increased imports of palm oil, which has been trading at a discount to rival soya oil and sunflower oil, would satisfy the consumption growth, he added.

The first four months of the 2022–23 marketing year, which began on November 1st, saw a 74% increase in India’s imports of palm oil to 3.67 million tonnes. Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia are the leading suppliers of palm oil to India. Argentina, Brazil, Russia, and Ukraine are the countries from which it imports soybean and sunflower oil.

According to Desai, the nation’s overall imports of vegetable oil could increase to 14.38 million tonnes this year from 14.07 million tonnes last year. According to him, imports of sunflower oil might increase to 2 million tonnes from 1.93 million tonnes, while imports of soy oil could decrease to 3.16 million tonnes from 4.05 million tonnes.

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