NEW DELHI, Dec 18 (Bernama) -- Imports of edible oil by India is expectedto surge to an all-time-high of five million tonnes, going by imports inNovember, the first month of the current oil year and lower Rabi (winterseason) produce of oilseeds."Imports may cross five million tonnes, surpassing the earlier high of4.83 million tonnes in 2000-01, if 21 percent growth in November 2002, thebeginning of the new season is any indication," a leading importer hasbeen quoted in a Mumbai-datelined report in the financial daily theEconomic Times as saying.
Edible oil imports in November had increased to 330,000 tonnes from270,000 tonnes in the month last year.
Imports of crude edible oil completely replaced refined oil in Novemberthis year, according to Solvent Extracters Association.
Palm products imports represented 85 percent of the total edible oilimports last month, with the remaining 15 percent being soyabean oil, thereport said.
India is the world's largest importer of edible oil. It sources its palmoil requirement from Indonesia and Malaysia and that of soya oil fromBrazil, Argentina and the US.
The import requirements are expected to go up substantially in the secondhalf of the year, if the advance estimate of rabi (winter seasion)oilseeds crop, released by the Central Organisation for Oil Industry andTrade (COOIT) is any guide, the report said.
Oilseeds output is likely to touch a 12-year low of 7.51 million tonnesagainst 7.95 million tonnes, according to first advance estimates of'Rabi' oilseeds crop.
The "second advance estimates would be issued towards end-January," thereport said quoting Sandeep Bajoria, COOIT chairman. -- BERNAMA