BOMBAY (May 15 2003) : Edible oil imports by India, the world's largestbuyer, jumped 24.6 percent in the first half of the current year to makeup for a domestic shortfall, a leading trade body said on Wednesday.
Imports totalled 2.08 million tonnes in November-April of 2002/03,compared with 1.67 million in the same period of the previous year, theSolvent Extractors' Association of India said in a statement.
"The imports are rising due to a fall in domestic oil supply following adecline in local oilseed production," said B V Mehta, executive directorof the association.
India's oilseed output in the current year ending in October has beenestimated to decline to 16.1 million tonnes from 20.2 million tonnes inthe previous year because of poor monsoon rains, traders said.
Imports of crude palm olein more than doubled to 734,499 tonnes inNovember-April from 313,932 tonnes a year earlier, while imports of crudesoy oil rose to 428,494 tonnes from 367,709 tonnes, the statement said.
But imports of crude palm oil marginally fell to 814,468 tonnes from873,577 tonnes a year earlier.
In April, edible oil imports surged 39 percent from a year ago to 509,993tonnes, thanks to a huge jump in imports of crude palm olein to 176,074tonnes from 73,916 tonnes.-Reuters