24.03.2020 (Economic Times) - Kolkata: India’s edible oil imports could come down by 5 per cent this year to 14.2 million tonnes as weakening rupee combines with supply chain disruption due to outbreak of coronavirus and reduced consumption by the low-income group of consumers, whose daily wage may get affected due to lockdown in many parts of the country.
“The edible oil sector cannot remain unaffected in these troubling times. Fear of the unknown is gripping our markets and imports are also showing a downward trend. Despite a serious drawdown on inventories in the edible oil supply chain, we do not see aggressive buying and build-up of inventories. With all these uncertainties gripping our markets and import duties being relatively high, we are witnessing a demand contraction,” BV Mehta, executive director of the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA), told ET.
India needs 23 million tonnes of edible oil annually to meet its domestic demand. In the last oil year (November 2018 to October 2019), India had imported 14.9 million tonnes of edible oils. “This year it is likely to come down to 14.2 million tonnes,” said Mehta.
The outbreak of coronavirus in the global markets have impacted imported price of edible oils. In the last few days, price of crude palm oil has gone up to $575 per tonne from $565 per tonne. Sunflower oil price has shot up to $760 per tonne from $740 per tonne. And soya oil price has gone up to $660 per tonne from $640 per tonne. “This is happening due to supply disruption. There is uncertainty all over the market,” said Sandeep Bajoria, CEO of Sunvin Group.
Angshu Mallick, chief operating officer of Adani Wilmar that sells edible oils under the Fortune brand name said “We have to come out with new ideas for supply chain management. Apart from edible oils, we are into rice, atta and other essential commodities”
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