May 11, 2009

India soyoil prices steady; palm oil prices up on firm demand

Indian soyoil prices remained almost steady during the week ended Friday (May 8), but palm oil prices moved up tracking firm local demand, traders said.

However, soyoil prices are likely to come down in next few weeks on higher imports and sluggish export demand for soymeal, they added.

India is likely to import about 600,000-700,000 tonnes of vegetable oil in April and the same amount in May, with total imports in 2008-09 likely to rise to a record 7.5 million tonnes, the Solvent Extractors' Association of India said.

"Imports are likely to remain firm due to rising consumption," said a trader based in the producer state of Madhya Pradesh.

The country will need to import about 60 percent more vegetable oil in the next five years if domestic production fails to improve, Ashok Sethia, president of SEA, said last month.

India imported 6.3 million tonnes of vegetable oil in the oil marketing year ended Oct. 31. The country's total vegetable oil imports in the first five months of 2008-09 rose 59 percent on the year to 3.59 million tonnes, SEA data showed.

Traders also are importing more fearing imposition of an import duty on crude edible oil after the general elections.

The federal government had scrapped a 20 percent import duty on soyoil in March. Crude palm oil is also exempt from any duty.

Prices of refined soyoil was at INR48,200/tonne, the same as last week's price.

Crude palm oil was at INR40,200/tonne, up from INR38,800/tonne, while refined, bleached and deodorized palm olein prices rose to INR44,400 from INR44,000/tonne.