NEW DELHI (August 08 2003) : India, the world's largest edible oil buyer,is likely to import up to 900,000 tonnes of oils in August and Septemberbut purchases will drop after October, traders said on Thursday.
They estimated imports at about 1.2 million tonnes during August-October,down from 1.45 million tonnes in the same period a year earlier.
The country's total imports are expected to surge 24 percent to 5.5million tonnes in the year to October from a year earlier.
"Edible oil imports in August and September will be around 400,000 to450,000 tonnes in each month," said G.G. Patel, former president of theSolvent Extractors' Association of India.
Patel said traders were not keen on high imports because of a fall indomestic oil prices and prospects of a good crop.
On average, prices of various oils had fallen about 10 percent in Augustfrom the previous month, traders said, adding that stockists preferred tounload stocks.
"The domestic oilseeds picture will be clear by mid-October and oilimports will start falling after that," said Mansukhbhai Patel, anotherindustry official.
The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, an independent forecaster, saidon Thursday oilseed output was likely to rise 21 percent from a yearearlier to 19 million tonnes in the year to March 2004 because of goodrains and more area under winter crops.-Reuters