Sunflower oil imports affected by Russia-Ukraine conflict, Industry weighs options in other countries
With imports of sunflower oil being hit due to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, industry body SEA on Saturday said it is exploring options to buy cooking oil from other countries to maintain domestic supplies and keep retail prices under control. is considering.
Industry players expect cooking oil prices to remain stable as domestic mustard oil supplies improve from next month. Harvesting of mustard crop has started.
The sharp rise in global prices led India’s total imports of edible oils to a record 1.17 lakh crore in the 2020-21 marketing year (November to October) from around 72,000 crore in the previous year.
In volume terms, imports remained stable at 1.3 million tonnes.
“The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has disrupted the supply of sunflower oil. India imports 2.5 million tonnes of sunflower oil annually, of which 70% comes from Ukraine, 20% from Russia and 10% from Argentina,” BV Mehta, executive director of the Solvent Extractors Association (SEA), told PTI.
He said that around 2 lakh tonnes of sunflower oil is imported on a monthly basis.
There is upward pressure on palm oil and soybean oil rates in the international markets, Mr. Mehta said.
“Since our dependence on edible oil imports is 65%, we are exploring all possibilities of sourcing edible oil from other countries to maintain our domestic supply chain and stabilize local retail prices,” he said.
Mr Mehta said that Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal held a meeting with players from the edible oil industry on Friday evening to take stock of the situation and explore ways to boost domestic availability.
“We have given several suggestions to boost domestic supply,” he said.
“We can increase our imports of palm oil from Indonesia, which is using large amounts of palm oil for fuel. We can also get canola oil from Dubai. Rice bran oil and olive oil. Oil can also be imported,” Mr Mehta said.
In addition, he said that sunflower oil can be imported from Russia through rupee-ruble agreement to avoid sanctions.
When contacted, Adani Wilmar CEO and MD Angshu Mallick said that the situation will improve in the next 15 days and denied any increase in retail prices.
“The arrival of the mustard crop will start in a few days. This will improve our domestic availability.
Shri Mallick said that sunflower oil accounts for 10-12 per cent of India’s total domestic demand of 220-230 lakh tonnes of cooking oil.
The southern states account for 65-70% of sunflower oil consumption. We need to promote the use of groundnut and rice bran oil in South India.”
In the western and eastern part of India, Malik said people use sunflower and soybean oils depending on the price.
India imports palm oil from Indonesia and Malaysia, while soybean oil comes from Brazil and Argentina.
The government has significantly reduced the import duty on edible oils in the last one year to control the retail prices.