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Palm oil price up 10% in a month.

Date: 14-09-2016
Subject: Palm oil price up 10% in a month
KOLKATA: Frying samosas and namkeen will be costlier this festive season, with prices of palm oil having shot up 10 per cent in the past month and little respite in sight.

Edible oil makers have already passed on the hike in palm oil prices to consumers. Palm oil, the cheapest among all edible oils, is widely used across India, with the south consuming the largest volume.

Experts said crude palm oil prices may remain firm throughout 2016 since the global output of palm oil is expected to shrink after the prolonged El-Nino related dryness that hit palm producing regions in Southeast Asia this year. Media reports indicate that production of palm oil in Indonesia is likely to be around 31 million tonnes in 2016 compared to 32.5 million tonnes last year.

Malaysian palm oil output is expected to drop below 19 million tonnes compared to 19.96 mt in 2015.

"A projected short supply in the global markets has pushed up palm oil prices. Additionally, Indians are short covered as far as palm oil is concerned. Consumption in India for palm oil will be on the higher side till Diwali," said Anghsu Mallick, chief operating officer at Adani Wilmar.

Mallick said the company, which sells palm oil under brand name 'Raag Gold', has passed on the price hike to consumers. "The price hike will have an impact on consumption and slow down the movement of palm oil," he said.

Soy oil prices have gone up 6 per cent in the past one month. "The impact of soy oil prices moving up will not be as much as the palm oil. Soy oil is generally consumed by the upper and upper middle-class people," said Sandip Bajoria, CEO of oil consultancy firm Sunvin Group.

Global soyabean production for this season is forecasted to be 314 metric tonnes, down 1.8 per cent from last season's historic high, but it will still be the second-largest harvest. The output of the US, among the bigger producers, is pegged at 107 million tonnes, almost identical to the all-time record of the 2014-15 season.

Bajoria said, "Price hike in soy oil is a temporary phenomenon. Whenever prices of any of the oils in the edible oil complex go up, then other oils also tend to become costlier." The rising prices of palm oil may bring down its imports by India.

"The price difference between RBD palmolein (finished palm oil) and soy oil is narrowing down. This may result in people shifting to soft oil like soy oil," said BV Mehta, executive director, Solvent Extractors' Association of India.

Palm oil import has already decreased to 61.75 lakh tonnes in the first nine months of current oil year (November 2015 to July 2016) from 68.26 lakh tonnes a year ago, while import of soft oils import has increased to 46.12 lakh tonnes from 33.73 lakh tonnes last year.

The share of soft oils in imports increased to 43 per cent from 33 per cent last year while the share of plam oil products went down to 57 per cent from 67 per cent.

Source : economictimes.indiatimes.com

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