Major Producing and Consuming Countries India

Oils and Fats in the Marketplace

India produces a wide range of oilseeds (soya, cotton, groundnut, sunflower, rape, sesame, copra, castor, and linseed). The total crop (excluding sesame, linseed, and castor) in 2011/12 was 35.7 million tonnes. Indigenous production of between 6 and 7 million tonnes of oil was augmented by 10.0 million tonnes of imported oil. Total consumption was 16.9 million tonnes of which 16.2 million tonnes was used for food purposes.

For soybean oil 1.71 million tonnes was produced locally, 1.17 million tonnes was imported, and 2.75 million tonnes was consumed. For palm oil 7.47 million tonnes was imported making India the largest importer of palm oil in 2011/12 and 7.42 million tonnes was consumed. Production and consumption of rapeseed oil (2.31 and 2.42 million tonnes), groundnut oil (1.16 and 1.16 million tonnes) and cottonseed oil (1.21 and 1.21 million tonnes) were as indicated.

Other countries in the Indian subcontinent (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka) are also large importers and consumers of palm oil. Pakistan and Bangladesh imported 2.1 and 1.0 million tonnes of palm oil, respectively, in 2010/11.

In general, Indian oilseed yields are much below those recorded elsewhere. This is a consequence of difficult climatic conditions, particularly in respect of the annual monsoon rains, which are sometimes too little and sometimes too much for optimum yields. Another factor is the poverty of many Indian farmers, who have to economise on irrigation facilities, fertiliser, pesticides, and seed quality.

Consumption of vegetable oils for both food and industrial purposes in India was 14.0 kg/person/year in 2011/12. This figure is well below the world average (21.2 kg/person/year). However, the actual figure for food consumption will be higher by virtue of the consumption of oils such as rice bran and other oils not included in the USDA listing of vegetable oils

Updated March 2013