The world’s largest buyer of sunflower oil usually imports most of it from the Black Sea region through the Red Sea. However, recent Houthi attacks have forced shipping companies to reroute trade between Europe and Asia to Africa, increasing delays and costs.
India’s sunflower oil imports are expected to fall in the coming months as prices rise, as freight rates rise, prompting buyers to switch to vegetable oils, trading officials at Reuters said. Competitors are available at discounted prices.
The world’s largest buyer of sunflower oil usually imports most of it from the Black Sea region through the Red Sea. However, recent Houthi attacks have forced shipping companies to reroute trade between Europe and Asia to Africa, increasing delays and costs. Sandeep Bajoria, CEO of Sunvin Group, a vegetable oil brokerage, said high freight rates have pushed the cost of transporting sunflower oil above soybean oil in India for the first time in nearly a decade. a year.
“Sunoil imports have increased sharply in recent months due to its price advantage over soybean oil. However, the company has lost this advantage due to increased shipping costs,” he said.
Traders said crude sunflower oil imports are currently priced at around $943/tonne, including costs, insurance and freight (CIF), to India for delivery in February, while soybean oil Crude oil is priced at about 935 USD/ton and crude palm oil is at 933 USD.
Two months ago, sunflower oil was trading at a price lower than soybean oil by $120 per ton, which encouraged Indian traders to increase imports of solar oil. In December, India’s solar oil imports more than doubled from the previous month, reaching 260,850 tons.
Soybean oil imports in December increased 1.8% to 152,650 tons, but remained significantly below the average imports of 306,000 tons in the marketing year ending October 2023.
Rajesh Patel, managing partner at edible oil trading and brokerage firm GGN Research, said in January, sunflower oil imports could fall to 225,000 tonnes as soybean oil imports are expected to cross 230,000 tonnes.
“In the coming months, sunflower oil imports will decline to around 200,000 tonnes if the current price trend continues,” Patel said.
India buys palm oil mainly from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, while it imports soybean oil and sunflower oil from Argentina, Brazil, Russia and Ukraine. Argentina currently offers solar oil at more competitive prices than countries in the Black Sea region, said an agent with a global trading company headquartered in Mumbai. He said shipping disruptions in the Red Sea will cause India to buy more soybean oil from South America and less solar oil from the Black Sea region.
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