The government of India has halted sunflower oil imports from the Black Sea region as about 3,80,000 tonnes of sunflower oil shipments from the region are stuck at ports amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Reuters reported citing sources.
Ukraine and Russia are the major suppliers of sunflower oil, with India importing approximately 90 per cent of sunflower oil from Russia and Ukraine. Between November 2020 and October 2021, India imported a total of 18.93 lakh tonnes of crude sunflower oil, out of which 13.97 lakh tonnes of sunflower oil were imported from Ukraine alone.
As per the report, the Black Sea region accounts for about 60 per cent of world sunflower oil output and 76 per cent of its imports. For February and March this year, India--the top global edible oil importer--had contracts of 510,000 tonnes of sunflower oil from the Black Sea region, out of which only 1,30,000 tonnes have been loaded in February so far.
Apart from Russia and Ukraine, Argentina is a key importer of sunflower oil in India. The country imported 2.24 lakh tonnes of sunflower oil between November 2020 and October 2021.
On Thursday, sunflower oil was selling at Rs 162.79 per litre in the domestic market, compared to Rs 110 per litre in 2020.
According to the data available on the Department of Consumer Affairs' website, the prices of six edible oils—groundnut oil, mustard oil, vanaspati, soya oil, sunflower oil and palm oil, have surged between 9 per cent and 56 per cent in the last one year in India.