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IVPA chief pegs vegoil imports at 16.20 million tonnes this season
calendar10-11-2023 | linkThe Hindu Business Line | Share This Post:

Palm oil imports likely to top 9 million tonnes, says Sudhakar Desai


09/11/2023 (The Hindu Business Line) - Indian vegetable oil imports would be around 16.20 million tonnes (mt) for the oil year 2023-24 (November to October), according to Sudhakar Desai, President of Indian Vegetable Oil Producers Association (IVPA).


Speaking at the Global Economics and Marketing Conference of the International Palm Oil Congress and Exhibition (PIPOC) 2023 at Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia on Thursday, he said the import of palm oil during the oil year 2023-24 is expected to reach 9 mt and soft oils to be around 7.12 mt.


Desai forecast that palm oil production of Malaysia could increase to 18.85 mt during the year from 18.61 mt of the previous year, an increase of 240,000 tonnes. Indonesia’s production is expected to remain steady at 49.26 mt.


While Malaysia will witness stock build-up of approximately 2.7 mt, the market is anticipated to transition to tighter end stocks by April-May 2024, he said.


In his palm oil price outlook, Desai said Bursa Malaysia Derivatives (BMD) will fluctuate within the range of Malaysian ringgit 3,600-3,900 for the next three months. He also hinted at the possibility of prices rising to Malaysian ringgit 4,200 by March due to the tightening stock situation, particularly in Malaysia.


Growth owing to low prices

Speaking on the huge surge in Indian vegetable oil imports, he said imports reached a record-breaking 16.9 mt during the oil year 2022-23. This remarkable increase after two years of de-growth was attributed to the attractive low prices in the market, which not only triggered substantial stock build up in the pipeline but also stimulated a big bounce back in consumption


Forecasting a normal consumption growth of around 2.8 per cent in the oil year 2023-24, Desai said the total consumption could reach a level of 25.20 mt.


He touched upon the pivotal dynamics of the Indian market and its profound influence on the global vegetable oil market on the occasion.