India's January palm oil imports from Malaysia could hit nine-year low: Report

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 27, 2020, 09.03 PM(IST)

File Photo: A worker unloads palm oil fruits from a lorry inside a palm oil factory in Salak Tinggi, outside Kuala Lumpur. Photograph:( Reuters )

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According to the report, India is set to import less than 70,000 tonnes of palm oil from Malaysia in January which is the lowest since April 2011 and significantly lower than the 253,889 tonnes it imported in January 2019.

India's monthly palm oil imports from Malaysia is expected to hit the lowest level in January in nearly nine years, news agency Reuters reported citing traders and refiners.

The latest development comes as India curbed on palm oil imports from Malaysia after the southeast Asian country's prime minister the recent policies of India including abrogation of Article 370 and Citizenship Amendment Act.

According to the report, India is set to import less than 70,000 tonnes of palm oil from Malaysia in January which is the lowest since April 2011 and significantly lower than the 253,889 tonnes it imported in January 2019.

The report also added that the imports could be negligible at less than 10,000 tonnes in February as almost every Indian buyer has switched to Indonesia.

In 2019, India imported 4.4 million tonnes of palm oil from Malaysia, with average monthly imports of 367,459 tonnes, Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) data showed.

After Malaysia, Indonesia is the world's biggest producer of palm oil.

Palm oil accounts for nearly two-thirds of India's total edible oil imports. India buys more than 9 million tonnes of palm oil annually, mainly from Indonesia and Malaysia.

In the Kuala Lumpur summit that took place in December 2019, the Malaysian prime minister had criticised the new citizenship act and government's move on Jammu and Kashmir.

New Delhi reacted to Mohamad's comments with the Ministry of External Affairs issuing a statement on the same. 

The MEA called Mohamad's remarks as "factually inaccurate" and said that the Malaysian Prime Minister, "has yet again remarked on a matter that is entirely internal to India," the statement read.

Now, the Indian palm oil importers have effectively stopped all purchases from Malaysia following a diplomatic spat.

(With inputs from Reuters)