World's largest vegetable oils importer expected to buy more in 2021/22

India's vegetable oil imports are expected to reach 14 mln t in the 2021/22 season (November-October), largely due to an increase in sunflower oil imports, the consulting agency UkrAgroConsult reports.

President of the International Sunflower Oil Association (ISOA) and CEO of Sunvin Group Sandeep Bajoria noted that sunflower oil imports could rise to 2.4 mln t in 2021/22 from about 1.88 mln t in 2020/21, as a dramatic reduction in import duty paired with improved global production would bring its price closer to palm and soybean oils.

In the past few months, India has cut the tax on imports of edible oils by 3x amid rising global prices to contain domestic food inflation.

After the latest tax cut, imports of crude sunflower oil are charged at 5%, the same as soybean oil, and below 7.5% charged on crude palm oil. According to Sandeep Bajoria, although palm oil is still the cheapest of the vegetable oils for its price advantage in the markets of origin, the record sunflower harvest in Ukraine and Russia is tightening the gap.

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"We forecast global sunflowerseed production in 2021/22 at 56.5 mln t, 6.5 mln t above 2020/21. The growth originates in Ukraine, Russia, the EU and Argentina," he says.

The expert added that erratic weather conditions, adjustments in Russian export duties on sunflowerseeds and sunflower oil, as well as weak sales by farmers could pose problems for the sunflower crop.

Sandeep Bajoria believes India's palm oil imports could fall to 8.375 mln t in 2021/22 from 8.66 mln t in 2020/21.

Crude sunflower oil production in Ukraine in 2020/21(September 2020-August 2021) totalled 4.7 mln t. Refined sunflower oil output by crushers in Ukraine made up 745.3 thou. t.

Ukroilprom projects sunflower oil production in Ukraine in 2021/22 to grow by 24% YoY.


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