9/9/04 INDIA (Oilmandi) - Imports of edible oil during the first tenmonths of the marketing year (MY) 2003 (October-September) are estimatedat 3.04 million tonne, 28 per cent less than the quantity imported duringthe corresponding period of MY 2002.
Trade sources attribute the decline to increased domestic crush and highinternational prices. Due to the diminishing domestic stocks, decliningworld prices, and typical higher demand associated with the festivalseason during September-November, estimates suggest that imports willincrease to 600,000 tonne per month during August and September, takingthe MY 2003 imports to 4.25 million tonne.
According to a report by Global Agriculture Information Network, estimatefor MY 2003 palm imports is lowered to 3.45 million tonne, although itsshare in total veg oil imports is estimated to increase, mainly due to itsrelatively lower landed cost. Soybean oil imports in MY 2003 are estimatedlower at 750,000 tonne, due to higher price coupled with high shippingcosts. Prices though have softened in the recent months. Imports ofsunflower oil continue to remain low, accounting for only 1.7 per cent oftotal vegetable oil imports. Meal exports during October 2003 to July 2004increased 169 per cent to 4.0 million tonne over the corresponding periodof MY 2002, due to improved domestic supplies and higher demand fromtraditional markets. Soybean meal exports jumped 184 per cent to 3.28million tonne (excluding rail/road exports to Pakistan and Bangladesh andcontainer shipments) and are estimated to record 3.45 million tonne forthe full MY 2003 (Oct-Sep).