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 Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani
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 Dow Jones
 India Aug Edible Oil Imports 599,738 MT Vs 384,444

15/09/04 NEW DELHI (Dow Jones)--India's monthly edible oil imports inAugust were the highest so far in the current oil marketing year endingOct. 31, the Solvent Extractors' Association of India, or SEA, saidWednesday.Edible oil imports in August totaled 599,738 metric tons compared with384,444 tons in August 2003.The rise in edible oil imports in August was led by a sharp rise incrude soyoil imports, which touched 203,143 tons compared with 80,800 tonsa year earlier.Imports of refined palm olein also increased sharply, to 79,030 tonscompared with 43,676 tons in August 2003.Crude palm olein imports in August were also the highest so far thismarketing year, touching 58,541 tons compared with 21,222 tons a yearearlier.India's crude palm oil imports in August totaled 232,604 tons, comparedwith 217,941 tons in August 2003.Sunflower oil, which is sparingly imported by India, touched 20,580tons in August compared with 10,008 tons in August 2003.While SEA didn't comment on the reasons for the increase in edible oilimports in August, traders said imports traditionally rise from August toOctober, as there is very little domestic supply of edible oil left inthese months.These months also see a lot of demand because of a series on Hindufestivals, all of which are accompanied by family and community feasts.Total edible oil imports from November 2003-August 2004 were at 3.3million tons, almost a million tons lower than the 4.2 million tonsimported November 2002-August 2003.Industry observers said total edible oil imports this marketing yearare likely to be around 4.2 million tons compared with 5.1 million tonslast marketing year.