India Raises Tariffs on Growing Refined Palm Oil Imports

India, the largest importer of palm oil, has raised its tariff on refined palm oil in response to industry complaints that surging imports of refined oils, principally from Indonesia, have hurt refiners. Rapid import growth was stimulated in part by a narrowing of the differential between crude and refined import prices caused by tariff policy changes in India and Indonesia.

Indonesia’s export policy encouraged refined exports by increasing the duty on crude exports. A year ago, India imposed a duty on crude imports, but left unchanged the duty on refined. This narrowed the premium for refined by raising the cost of imported crude.

Consequently, India’s refined imports grew to over 25 percent of total palm oil imports, leading to crude oil refiners complaining of operating below capacity. The announcement of the new higher tariff restores the duty differential between the two imported oils.

OVERVIEW

Global soybean production is raised with larger crops in the United States and Brazil. Global soybean trade was higher reflecting increased U.S. exports. Larger U.S. soybean crush boosts meal and oil production, contributing to larger exports. The season average U.S. farm price remains unchanged.

SOYBEAN PRICES

U.S. export bids, FOB Gulf, in December averaged $538 per ton, slightly higher than the previous month, supported by continued strong foreign demand.

As of the week ending December 26, U.S. soybean commitments (outstanding sales plus accumulated exports) to China totaled 25.7 million tons compared to 19.1 million a year ago. Total commitments to the world are 40.6 million tons, compared to 30.8 million for the same period last year.

2013/14 TRADE OUTLOOK

• United States

o Soybean exports are up 544,000 tons to 40.7 million on large sales and shipments to-date, particularly continued strong sales to China.

o Soybean meal exports are up 184,000 tons to 9.7 million supported by strong foreign demand, reflected in the Export Sales Report.

o Soybean oil exports are up 136,000 tons to 658,000 on larger supplies.

o Rapeseed imports are up 101,000 tons to 600,000, partly offsetting reduced production.

• Argentina’s soybean meal exports are reduced 500,000 tons to 28.9 million on smaller production.

• Australia’s rapeseed exports are down 160,000 tons to 2.5 million on reduced carryover supplies.

• Brazil’s soybean meal exports are up 200,000 tons to 13.8 million supported by larger crush.

• Canada’s rapeseed exports are down 200,000 tons to 8.1 million on stronger Australian exports during late 2013.

• European Union

o Rapeseed imports are up 100,000 tons to 3.4 million on large purchases to dater.

o Sunflower seed exports are up 100,000 tons to 700,000 reflecting exceptionally large October shipments.

• Russia’s rapeseed exports are up 120,000 tons to 150,000 based on trade date.

• Pakistan’s sunflowerseed imports are up 100,000 tons to 280,000 based on the EU trade data.

• Ukraine’s sunflowerseed meal and oil exports are up 210,000 tons, each to 4.1 million on stronger demand in North Africa, the Middle East, and Europe