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India's March palm oil, soyoil imports rise - trade body

MUMBAI, April 15 (Reuters) - India's palm oil imports in March rose 5.5 percent from a year earlier to 802,443 tonnes as changes in the duty structure made imports of refined palm oil attractive for Indian buyers, a leading trade body said on Monday.

The world's biggest edible oil importer reduced duty difference between crude and refined palm oil imported from Malaysia to 5 percent from earlier 10 percent effective from January 1, 2019.

The country's refined palm oil imports in March jumped to 312,673 tonnes from 163,222 tonnes a year ago, the Solvent Extractors' Association of India (SEA) said in a statement https://bit.ly/2ZcV4M4.

Soyoil imports surged 154 percent to 292,925 tonnes in March, while sunflower oil imports jumped 42 percent to 297,887 tonnes, the trade body said.

India buys palm oil from Indonesia and Malaysia, with its soyoil mainly imported from Argentina and Brazil, and purchases sunflower oil from Ukraine.

In the first five months of the 2018/19 marketing year ending October, India has imported 6 million tonnes of edible oils, up 3.8 percent from a year ago, it said. (Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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