India’s May palm oil imports reach 4-month high on price drop-dealers

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India's May palm oil imports reach 4-month high on price drop-dealers

India buying more palm oil, as the world’s largest importer of vegetable oils, might boost Malaysian palm oil futures. These futures hit their lowest point in over three months in May.

India’s palm oil imports increased by 12.4% in May compared to the previous month, reaching the highest level in four months due to recent price drops, according to five dealers cited by Reuters.

As the world’s largest importer of vegetable oils, India’s higher palm oil purchases could help boost the Malaysian palm oil futures, which hit a three-month low in May.

Palm oil imports in May surged to 769,000 metric tons, the highest since January, according to dealer estimates.

Rajesh Patel, managing partner at GGN Research, stated that palm oil imports increased last month due to higher margins. Refined palm oil purchases rose to 214,000 tons from 124,228 tons the previous month.

Crude palm oil (CPO) imports are priced at approximately $948 per metric ton, including cost, insurance, and freight (CIF), for July delivery in India. In comparison, soyoil and sunflower oil are priced at around $1,028 and $1,035 per ton, respectively, according to dealers.

Two months ago, CPO was more expensive than these other oils.

Palm oil imports are expected to stay strong in June, with about 750,000 tons anticipated to arrive, according to Sandeep Bajoria, CEO of Sunvin Group, a vegetable oil brokerage.

The Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) plans to release its May import data by mid-June.

India’s sunflower oil imports increased by 74% in May compared to the previous month, reaching 408,000 tons. This rise was due to the arrival of several ships that had been delayed in April because of port congestion, according to dealers.

Meanwhile, soyoil imports dropped by 16.5% in May to 322,000 tons, the dealers added.

Higher imports of palm oil and sunflower oil increased the country’s total edible oil imports by 15% to 1.5 million tons, they said.

India imports palm oil primarily from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, while it sources soyoil and sunflower oil from Argentina, Brazil, Russia, and Ukraine.

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