India's July refined palm oil imports down 9 pct on mth
Aug 16 (Reuters) - India's refined palm oil imports fell 9.3 percent in July in the second straight monthly decline as importers feared the world's biggest buyer would raise duties on purchases to cut cheap supplies from Indonesia,industry data showed on Thursday.
Importers bought 112,611 tonnes of refined, bleached and deodorised palmolein in July as compared with 124,125 tonnes in the previous month, the data from the Solvent Extractors' Association (SEA)showed, slightly above the average of a Reuters poll.
The government finally raised the cost of imports from Aug. 1.
India's domestic refiners have been demanding that imports be made costlier after Indonesia, the world's No. 1 palm oil producer, changed its export taxes in October 2011 to promote downstream products.
Refined palm oil imports rose 80 percent in the first nine months of the year from November over the same period a year ago.
Importers bought 486,517 tonnes of crude palm oil, up 27.7 percent on the month, the data showed.
About 80 percent of India's vegetable oil imports are palm oil, and refined product now makes up about a third of that, up from around 16 percent before Indonesia's tax changes.
The spread between crude and refined palm oils narrowed to $33 per tonne from $95 a year ago, B.V. Mehta, the executive director of the Mumbai-based trade body, said in the statement.
India is the world's largest buyer of vegetable oils according to the United States Department of Agriculture, closely followed by China.
The country's total vegetable oil imports were 870,328 tonnes, up 11 percent from the previous month.
The Reuters survey had forecast average total vegetable oil imports of 820,500 tonnes in July with the average for refined palm oils at 96,000 tonnes.
Soyoil imports rose more than 12 percent over June to 156,720 tonnes, boosted by the arrival of delayed vessels from South America, while sunflower oil imports were down nearly 9 percent from the previous month to 80,101 tonnes because of a decline in demand for fried foods amid high temperatures.
Source : in.reuters.com