Demand Forecast: Patanjali Foods sees India Apr-Jun crude sunflower oil imports up 43%
Demand Forecast

Patanjali Foods sees India Apr-Jun crude sunflower oil imports up 43%

Informist, Tuesday, Apr 23, 2024

By Sandeep Sinha

MUMBAI – The import of crude sunflower oil is likely to rise 43% on year to 1.05 mln tn during Apr-Jun, Aashish Acharya, vice president, Patanjali Foods told Informist. Higher prices of other edible oils, such as palm oil and soyoil, are prompting traders to switch over to sunflower oil, whose prices are now lowest in the basket.

During Nov-Mar, the import of sunflower oil rose nearly 21% on year to 1.35 mln tn, data from the Solvent Extractors' Association showed.

Data sourced from the Solvent Extractors' Association showed the landed costs at Indian ports of crude soyoil were $995 per tn, crude sunflower were $964 per tn, crude palm oil were $1,018 per tn, and refined bleached deodorized palmolein were $988/tn in March. On the other hand, the average monthly retail prices of sunflower oil in January, February and March were 139.01 rupees, 138.37 rupees and 137.88 rupees per kg, respectively, data from the department of Consumer Affairs showed.

"Sunflower oil’s demand has grown exponentially in destinations not used to buying sunflower oil. They are all switching to sunflower oil as palm oil has become costlier. The spread (between sunflower oil and) of palm oil was about $20-$40 per tn since Feb 24," Acharya said.

The palm oil stocks in Malaysia fell to a 10-month low, triggering a rise in prices to 102.18 rupees per litre. Expectation of a rise in crude oil prices due to tensions between between Iran and Israel also pushed up the prices.

"In the current edible oil year (Nov-Oct), sunflower oil imports may touch a record 3.5-3.6 mln tn, most likely higher than soybean oil in the same period for the first time in Indian import history," Acharya said.

In 2022-23, the country imported 9.79 mln tn palm oil, 3.7 mln tn soybean oil and 3 mln tn sunflower oil.

The consumption of sunflower oil in India has shown a substantial increase due to rising awareness of its health benefits. India's sunflower oil consumption may average 290,000-300,000 tn per month if the prevailing spread with relative oil prevails, Acharya said.

The key exporters of sunflower oil to India are Russia, Romania, and Argentina, followed by Ukraine and Turkey. In the first five months of 2023-24 edible oil year (Nov-Oct), India imported 490,624 tn of sunflower oil from Russia, 486,789 tn from Romania and 165,926 tn from Argentina.

India’s palm oil imports declined nearly 19% during Nov-Mar to 3.53 mln tn from 4.36 mln tn in the same period last year, according to data from the Solvent Extractors' Association. Similarly, soybean oil imports have tumbled over 39% to 882,943 tn in Nov-Mar from 1.46 mln tn in the same time a year ago. End

Edited by Vidhi Verma

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