London — India's imports of edible oil in June were up 8% year on year to 1.162 million mt according to data from the Solvent Extractors Association of India, due to the refilling of depleted stocks.
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Crude palm oil and crude palm kernel oil imports increased 30% year on year to 559,932 mt in June, while soybean oil imports increased 49% to 331,264 mt and sunflower oil imports rose 66% to 261,128 mt.
RBD palmolein imports fell 99% to 3,000 mt as imports have been reduced since the product was placed on a restricted list in January.
Imports of crude palm oil, crude palm kernel oil, RBD palmolein, soybean oil, sunflower oil and rapeseed oil since the start of India's 2019/20 marketing year in November were 15% lower year on year at 8.052 million mt, due to lower RBD palmolein imports and the COVID-19 lockdown in India.
Total stocks of edible oils at Indian ports or in pipeline stood at 915,000 mt as of May 1, a 26% drop month on month and 61% lower than a year earlier.
Indian stocks have declined since December due to lower domestic demand and reduced imports, leading to re-stocking in June as lockdown restrictions ease in India.
Soft oil imports, sunflower oil, soybean oil and rapeseed oil, have been favored during the Indian lockdown due to the increase in household demand for cooking and frying oil. Soft oil imports since November increased by 14% on the year to 3.836 million mt.
On the other hand, palm oil imports, typically used in the hotel, restaurant and catering industries which have been subject to forced closures through the lockdown, fell 31% year on year to 4.216 million mt between November and June 2020.