Lowering Palm Oil Triggers Sunflower Oil Imports to Rise Second-highest Level

by IS_Indust
Sunflower Oil

According to five dealers who spoke to sources, refiners increased their purchases of sunflower oil in March despite decreasing their purchases of rival palm oil, resulting in a 51% increase in imports of the oil to India, which reached the second-highest level ever recorded.

The world’s largest vegetable oil importer, India, may limit the increase in benchmark Malaysian palm oil futures, which are currently trading close to their highest levels in a year, by reducing its purchases of palm oil. Increased purchases of sunflower oil will contribute to a decrease in the region around the Black Sea in sunflower oil stocks. Dealer estimates show that imports of sunflower oil rose 51% month over month to 448,000 metric tons in March—the second-highest amount ever.

Palm oil imports fell 3.3% to 481,000 tons, the lowest since May 2023, they said.

“Sunflower oil imports are rising in place of palm oil. Production issues are keeping palm oil prices firm, prompting buyers to switch to sunflower oil,” Sandeep Bajoria, CEO of Sunvin Group, a vegetable oil brokerage, said.

Dealers stated that soyoil and sunflower oil are sold at about $1,000 and $960 per ton, respectively, while crude palm oil (CPO) imports are offered at roughly $1,020 a metric ton, including cost, insurance, and freight (CIF), in India for May delivery.
Typically, palm oil is traded at a premium to competitors’ oils like soy and sunflower, but declining stocks have driven up the price of palm oil relative to these numerous competitors.
In April and May, there will be more imports because sunflower oil is priced competitively, says Rajesh Patel, managing partner of edible oil trader and broker GGN Research.

Imports of soybeans increased by 27% to 220,000 tons in March compared to the previous month, but they were still significantly less than the 306,000 tons per month average during the previous marketing year, which concluded on October 31, according to dealers.

By mid-April, the trade association Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) is expected to release its March import data.

India’s total edible oil imports in March reached 1.149 million tons, up 18.7% from the previous month, the highest level in six months thanks to greater imports of soyoil and sunflower oil, according to dealers.
India mostly imports soy oil and sunflower oil from Argentina, Brazil, Russia, and Ukraine, but it purchases palm oil primarily from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.

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