Import of vegetable oils rose by 6 per cent to around 11.73 lakh tonnes in November on higher shipments of crude soyabean oil, according to industry data. Vegetable oils comprise edible and non-edible oil.

“Import of vegetable oils during November 2021 is reported at 11,73,747 tonnes compared to 10,60,549 tonnes in October 2021 and 11,02,899 tonnes during November 2020,” Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) said in a statement.

Edible oil imports rose to 11,38,323 tonnes last month from 10,83,329 tonnes in the year-ago period. Non-edible oil imports surged to 34,924 tonnes from 19,570 tonnes in the year-ago month.

In edible oil category, import of soybean oil rose sharply in November 2021 to 474,160 tonnes as compared to 2,50,784 tonnes in the same month last year.

Imports of crude palm oil fell to 4,77,160 tonnes from 5,89,268 tonnes, but shipments of refined palm oil rose to 58,267 tonnes from 10,000 tonnes.

Indonesia and Malaysia are major suppliers of palm oil, while Argentina and Brazil export soyabean oil to India.

According to SEA, India’s dependence on import of edible oils is nearly 65 per cent of the total consumption of about 22-22.5 million tonnes. The country imports 13-15 million tonnes to bridge the gap between the demand and domestic supply.

For the last two marketing years (November to October), due to the pandemic, import has reduced to nearly 13 million tonnes.

“In 2019-20 the import dropped to 13.2 million tonnes valued about Rs 71,600 crore. In 2020-21, India imported similar quantity but import bill jumped by 63 per cent and touched an alarming level of Rs 1.17 lakh crore due to hike in international prices of edible oils,” SEA had said last month.

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