Agri Commodities

India’s January Sunflower Oil Imports At 459 MT, More Than Double The Figure As Compared To December 2022

According to the Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEA), India is the largest importer of vegetable oil in the world and the Asian nation imported around 131.3 lakh tonnes of edible oils worth Rs 1.17 trillion in the previous oil year (November-October 2020-21) to meet 60% of its vegetable oil needs. 

Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand are India’s top palm oil suppliers while the majority of soy oil is bought from merchants in Argentina and Brazil, and a significant portion is sourced from Russia and Ukraine when it comes to sunflower oil. 

Sunflower Oil Imports

As per the latest data of the market operators, in the past month, India imported about 4.59 lakh tonnes of sunflower oil (Reported to Reuters). Notably, the figure recorded is twice the volume of the product imported by the country which was recorded in December 2022. 

As per the given information, India’s main supplier of sunflower oil during the reporting period is Ukraine, which supplied 1.557 lakh tonnes to the Asian market, followed by Russia which supplied 0.82 lakh tonnes. The third biggest supplier is Bulgaria. Argentina, Poland, Romania, Turkey, and other countries sent small quantities of sunflower oil as well. 

Further Information 

A market supplier mentioned, “The supply of sunflower oil has increased to an extraordinary level. We never thought that India would be able to import so much in a month.” As a reminder, the Indian government’s decision to allow duty-free imports of sunflower oil through March 2024 makes this product very profitable to purchase. 

60% of the world’s sunflower oil production and 76% of its exports come from the Black Sea. The surge in demand by India would help the major countries in the Black Sea region to reduce their stockpiles. According to a Singapore-based trader with a trade house, Ukraine is selling sunflower seeds along with oil as it struggles to crush all of the available seeds because of logistical problems while Russia is currently offering sunflower oil at competitive prices to liquidate stocks. According to the dealer, Ukraine has been selling seeds to Romania and Bulgaria, which are processing the seeds and sending the oil to India. He also stated, “Sunflower imports would reduce palm oil purchases this quarter. In southern India sunflower oil is likely to replace palm oil”. 

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