India’s palm oil imports in August dropped 13.9% from a year earlier to 7,34,351 tonnes, a leading trade body said on Friday, due to a sluggish recovery in demand from hotels and restaurants as local coronavirus cases continued to rise.
The country’s soyoil imports dropped 10.4% year-on-year to 3,94,735 tonnes last month, while sunflower oil imports fell 31% to 1,58,518 tonnes, the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) said in a statement.
India is the world’s biggest importer of edible oils and lower purchases could put downward pressure on Malaysian palm oil prices and U.S. soyoil prices.
Palm oil is mainly consumed by hotels and restaurants, which gradually began reopening from June after a nationwide coronavirus lockdown imposed in March. Palm oil sales picked up pace in July, but demand waned in August due to the spike in coronavirus cases in the world’s second most populous country.
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