The amount of palm oil imported into India in September increased to its highest level in a year, thanks to strong demand for the tropical oil ahead of the festival season and a significant price discount over other oils, according to six dealers on Tuesday. The benchmark Malaysian palm oil prices, which have almost halved from this year’s record highs, could be supported by increased buying and leading producer Indonesia’s efforts to reduce swollen inventories.
The average estimate from six dealers with trading firms revealed that the September imports increased 21% from a month earlier to 1.2 million tonnes, the largest since September of last year. The managing partner of GGN Research, Rajesh Patel, stated that palm oil was significantly less expensive than other edible oils. A Mumbai-based dealer for a multinational trading company predicted that India’s imports of palm oil will stay high even in October, at almost a million tonnes, as its large discount continues and festivals continue to drive up demand.
For shipments in October, crude palm oil is being offered in India at a price of $855 per tonne, including cost, insurance, and freight (CIF), as opposed to $1,207 for crude soyoil, according to the dealers. The Mumbai-based trade group Solvent Extractors’ Association of India is anticipated to release its September import data in the middle of October. Imports of soyoil increased by 10% to 270,000 tonnes in September from a month earlier, while imports of sunflower oil increased by 22% to 165,000 tonnes, according to the dealers.
As shipments from major supplier Ukraine have restarted since August through an UN-brokered corridor, sunflower oil’s premium over rival soyoil has shrunk, according to Sandeep Bajoria, CEO of top broker Sunvin Group. While importing soy and sunflower oil from Argentina, Brazil, Russia, and Ukraine, India mostly purchases palm oil from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.