[ Back ]     [ Comments ]     [ Print ]

News Admin
 
Date
 22/01/2002
News Provider
 Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani
News Source
 NULL
Headline
 Indian traders see 2001/02 edible oil imports down

BOMBAY, Jan 21 (Reuters) - India's edible oil imports are expected to fallthis year as domestic supply is likely to increase on prospects of abetter oilseed crop compared with the previous year, traders said onMonday.India, the world's top edible oil buyer, is likely to import 4.45 to 4.50million tonnes of oil in the crop year 2001/02 (November-October), downfrom 4.80 million tonnes the previous year, they said."Imports are bound to fall this year with rising domestic availability,"B.V. Mehta, executive director of the Solvent Extractors' Association ofIndia, told Reuters.Oilseed output in the current crop year is expected to rise because goodmonsoon rains have helped the winter crop and left enough moisture in thesoil for the summer crop, traders said.The winter crop is planted during the monsoon season in June-July andharvested in October and November, while the summer crop is sown inNovember-December and harvested in March-April.Output from the winter crop this year is forecast to rise to 12.3 milliontonnes from 10.9 million in the previous year, when a severe drought hitmany parts of the country, Mehta said.Summer output is estimated at 7.1 million to 7.4 million tonnes, higherthan the previous year's 6.5 million, but lower than an earlier projectionof about 8.5 million tonnes."The main oilseed producing belt in northern India received poor rainshitting the summer season crop," said G.G. Patel, an edible oil traderbased in the western city of Rajkot.He said this had led to scaling down the earlier output projection.With the expected rise in oilseeds production, domestic oil supply islikely to be higher by 650,000 to 700,000 tonnes this year, traders said.But oil imports will fall only by 300,000 to 350,000 tonnes as localconsumption is likely to increase by about 350,000 tonnes, against earlierestimates of a 500,000-tonne rise."Local demand will not rise very fast due to the poor state of the Indianeconomy and higher domestic oil prices," said Sandeep Bajoria, managingdirector of Bajoria Fats and Proteins Ltd, adding that the average pricesof domestic oils have risen about 25 percent so far this year.But a rise in production this year would encourage farmers to grow moreoilseeds, which would result in a drop in oil imports in subsequent years,traders said.OIL MIXThe import ratio of palm oils to soft oils is likely to remain unchangedthis year despite a sharp devaluation of the currency in Argentina, amajor exporter of soybean oil, traders said.Argentina recently fixed its official exchange rate at 1.40 pesos per U.S.dollar for exports and government transactions, a 29 percent devaluation."If soyoil becomes cheaper after April-May, Malaysian and Indonesianexporters would be prompted to cut prices of palm oils accordingly," saida Bombay-based oil trader.Argentina will harvest new soybean crop from April, traders said.India imports palm oils, which is about 60 to 65 percent of total edibleoil imports, from Malaysia and Indonesia. The remaining soft oil is mainlyimported from South American countries.Traders said during the current year India was likely to import an average30,000 tonnes of RBD palm olein, 60,000-70,000 tonnes of crude palm oleinand 140,000-150,000 tonnes of CPO every month.The country's edible oil imports fell by nearly 12 percent to 609,464tonnes in the first two months of the current oil year from 689,523 tonnesin the same period a year earlier.


ECONOMICS & INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT DIVISION
Malaysian Palm Oil Board ( MPOB ) Lot 6, SS6, Jalan Perbandaran, 47301 Kelana Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, MALAYSIA.
Tel : 603 - 7802 2800 || Fax : 603 - 7803 3533