India: Analyst expects palm oil imports to increase by 8.7%

India's palm oil imports in the 2018/19 marketing year will increase by 8.7% yoy, according to estimates by a leading analyst. The reason is the increased consumption and the expectation of a lower oil crop.
Rising imports could also support palm oil prices at Bursa Malaysia, which is currently trading at its lowest level in nearly three years.
On November 1, the marketing year 2018/19 will start in India, and palm oil imports could rise to 9.26 million tons, according to Govindbhai Patel of GG Patel & Nikhil Research Company. The rainfall in 2018 was very unevenly distributed. In some states there was excessive rainfall and in some states there was a deficit.
The rainfall in India in the current monsoon season, which began on June 1, is 9% behind those in "normal" years, according to the Indian Meteorological Department. The state of Gujarat complains of a 27% government deficit. Gujarat is the largest producer of peanuts and cotton.
India's demand for edible oil could rise by 2.1% to 22.6 million in the financial year 2018/19Tonnes increase, while local supply could fall 6.2% to 7.25 million tonnes.
Stocks of peanut oil, cottonseed oil and rapeseed oil could shrink next year, while supply of rice bran oil could rise marginally, Patel believes.
This decline in production will increase soybean oil imports by 5.8% to 3.3 million tonnes in the next marketing year, while imports of sunflower oil could slow from the record high of 2.51 million tonnes in the current year to 2.4 million tonnes ,
India buys palm oil in Indonesia and Malaysia. Soybean oil is mainly imported from Argentina and Brazil and sunflower oil from Ukraine.
Total edible oil imports could rise to a record high of 15.2 million tonnes in the 2018/19 marketing year, an increase of 5.6% over the previous year.
Palm oil accounts for more than half of Indian oil imports. India's palm oil imports for the 2017/18 marketing year (until 31 October) will fall by 8.3% to 8.52 million tonnes due to higher prices.
India has raised the import tax on palm oil and other edible oils to its highest level in more than a decade to support local oilseed farmers.
Soybean production in the country is expected to increase by 20.5% in 2018 to 10 million tonnes. An expansion of the soybean acreage is expected.

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