05/11/04 NEW DELHI (Dow Jones)--Indian edible oil prices were mixed inthe week to Friday because of sufficient supplies and rising oilseedarrivals accompanied by lower oil imports in October.
Edible oil imports in August and September were around 600,000 metrictons each, while October imports were around 300,000 tons.
"It is an unusual market scenario. At a time when festival demandshould keep prices firm, prices of many oils are falling. The reason isample supplies to cater to the domestic requirements," said a trader inDelhi.
Oilseeds arrivals have risen in various markets across India, anAhmedabad-based trader said.
Traders expect a further slide in edible oil prices after the HinduDiwali festival next Friday. Oilseeds arrivals will also peak by themiddle of this month.
But prices of crude palm oil and refined palm oil are higher becauseof the lower imports in October.
India meets its entire palm oil needs through imports from Malaysiaand Indonesia. Palm oil accounts for around 74% of India's total edibleoil imports.
In related news, Indian edible oil millers and industry associationswill meet in the southern city of Hyderabad Nov. 20-21 to announce thefinal estimate of India's summer-sown oilseeds crop. The millers will alsodiscuss the price trends of edible oils in 2005 and provide someindicative figures on oil imports next year.
India's summer-sown oilseeds crop is planted from June to August andharvested in September and October. The winter-sown oilseeds crop will beplanted from later this month until end-December and will be harvested inMarch.
Summer-sown oilseeds output is expected to be lower in 2004 comparedwith 2003, because of scanty monsoon rains in key oilseeds producingregions.
India's summer-sown oilseeds crop, such as soybean and groundnut,depends completely on rainwater for sustenance.
Friday, crude palm oil fell to INR35,300 a ton from INR35,500/ton.Refined, bleached and deodorized palm olein closed lower at INR38,000/tonfrom INR38,500/ton. Crude soybean oil rose marginally to INR38,000/tonfrom INR37,900/ton. Groundnut oil was at INR55,000/ton from INR54,000/ton.