India’s record imports, the world’s largest importer of vegetable oil, came as the discount rate for sunflower oil to competing soybean oil expanded to its highest level in nine months.
India’s sunflower oil imports will rise to 473,000 tonnes in January, nearly three times its average monthly imports, as Russia and Ukraine, its biggest exporters, seek to reduce inventories, industry insiders told Reuters.
India, the world’s largest importer of vegetable oil, recorded record imports as the discount rate for sunflower oil to competing soybean oil expanded to its highest level in nine months.
A sharp increase in imports will help major Black Sea-producing countries reduce stocks, but could reduce palm oil imports from India and put pressure on Malaysian palm oil prices.
“Sunoil was trading at discount to soybean oil in December. The discount made it lucrative for Indian buyers,” said Rajesh Patel, managing partner at GGN Research.
In the last week of November and early December, the discount on sunflower oil for soybean oil increased to about $100 per ton, the highest level since February 2022. Cargo across the Black Sea. extended.
International Sunflower Oil Association President Sandeep Bajoria said the deal would allow exporters to move stagnant stocks and sign new contracts. The Black Sea accounts for 60% of world sunflower oil production and 76% of exports.
India’s monthly sunflower oil imports averaged around 161,000 tonnes for the 2021/22 marketing year ending 31 October. Logistical problems have destroyed all available seeds, said the trading company’s Singapore dealer.
India’s decision to allow duty-free imports of sunflower oil until March 2024 also makes purchasing sunflower oil attractive to Indian processors, India’s leading vegetable oil importer said.
“Sunflower imports would reduce palm oil purchases this quarter. In southern India sunflower oil is likely to replace palm oil,” he said.