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India's Nov vegoil imports fall 9% on month on talk of looming cut in duties

Singapore — India's imports of vegetable oils fell 9% month on month to 1.13 million mt in November, and were also down 9% year on year, data released Thursday by the Solvent Extractors Association of India showed.

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The decline was attributed in the report to anticipation in India's vegoil industry that the government could reduce import duties on Malaysian palm oil by December 31.

This would be in accordance with the Economic Cooperation Agreement, a trade agreement signed between Malaysia and India in 2010, that stipulates the Indian government reduce import duties on CPO and refined palm oil or RPO to 40% and 45% respectively from the current maximums of 44% and 54% by December 31, 2018, the association said.

India's palm oil imports are expected to pick up in January 2019 in anticipation of a duty reduction, but also because of attractively low palm oil prices, which have widened the spread between palm oil and other soft oils like soybean oil., the association said.

Stocks of various oils at Indian ports stood at 861,000 mt on December 1, down 34,000 mt from November 1, the data showed.

India's vegoil stock holding requirements average 1.9 million mt/month, and total vegoil supply on December 1, which includes both stocks at ports and within the supply chain, totaled 2.191 million mt, equating to 35 days of requirements, the data showed.

The December 1 total comprised 370,000 mt of CPO, 165,000 mt of RBD palmolein, 200,000 mt of degummed soybean oil, 125,000 mt of crude sunflower oil, 1,000 mt of rapeseed oil and 1.33 million mt of vegoil.

-- Samar Niazi, samar.niazi@spglobal.com

-- Ratnajyoti Dutta, newsdesk@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Wendy Wells, newsdesk@spglobal.com