Palm oil imports by India, the largest buyer, may climb to a record this year as rising incomes stoke demand for cookies and potato chips, potentially stemming a decline in prices from a more than nine-month low, reported Bloomberg.
Purchases may jump as much as 10 percent to about 7 million metric tons in the year ending Oct. 31 from 6.38 million tons a year earlier, according to five processors and analysts in a Bloomberg News survey. The highest-ever palm oil imports previously were 6.43 million tons in 2008-09 season, data from the Solvent Extractors' Association of India showed.
Rising Indian imports may help palm oil futures limit losses after slumping 26 percent from a 35-month high of 3,967 ringgit ($1,320) a ton reached on Feb. 10 as output expands in Indonesia and Malaysia, the biggest producers. A rebound in prices may also boost earnings at producers including Sime Darby Bhd. (SIME) and Indonesia's PT Astra Agro Lestari and raise costs for users including Nestle SA and Unilever.