The consumption of edible oils in India is forecast to reach 26M-27M tonnes by 2025/26, according to estimates by the country’s Solvent Extractors Association (SEA) reported by AgriCensus.

Presented at the Indonesia Palm Oil Conference (IPOC) in Bali on 4 November, the SEA’s figure was higher than 2021/22 season estimates, which were forecast at 22.7M-23M tonnes, the report said.

India‘s oilseed production was also estimated to reach 38M-40M tonnes in 2025/26 compared with 33M tonnes in 2021/2022.

Domestic vegetable oil production was also expected to rise by 2025/26 to 13.5M-14M tonnes, compared to 10M tonnes in 2021/22.

“This gap of 11M-12M tonnes may be bridged through imports. The type of oil is dependent on price parity and availability in the international market,” SEA executive director Dr B V Mehta said at the conference.

“Imports of vegetable oils have reduced from their peak at 15.5M tonnes in 2018/19 to 13.5M tonnes last oil year due to COVID-19. In the past 20 years, import volume has increased 2.6 times while cost has gone up close to 27 times,” Mehta added.

In terms of types of edible oil consumed in India, palm oil represented 33% of the total, while soyabean oil, rapeseed and sunflower oil comprised 23%, 15% and 8% respectively. Cottonseed oil and groundnut oil made up the remainder.

According to SEA’s forecast, India is expected to import 13M tonnes of palm oil and 1M tonnes of soyabean oil in 2023.

SEA estimated in May that India was likely to import 12.9M tonnes of edible oils from November 2021 to October 2022.