September 22, 2013 / 7:26 AM / 4 years ago

India's edible oil imports may surge to 16 mln T in 2020/21

MUMBAI, Sept 22 (Reuters) - India's edible oil imports are likely to surge by 54 percent to 16 million tonnes in 2020/21 as demand rises at a much higher rate than local supplies, a leading trade expert said in a presentation at a conference on Sunday.

Rising prosperity in rural areas due to state-run employment generation schemes and increasing urbanisation would be key demand drivers, said Govindbhai G. Patel, managing partner of GG Patel & Nikhil Research Co.

"All India per capita consumption is 13.80 kg, but in many states it is about 10 to 11 Kg. Consumption growth in these states will be more ... rising labour income is increasing the income level of people who are consuming much below the all-India level," he said.

India's edible oil imports in the 2012/13 year ending on Oct. 31, 2013, would be 10.4 million tonnes, he estimated.

He said India's edible oil demand was set to jump by 46 percent to 25.2 million tonnes in 2020/21, while local supplies are likely to rise by 37 percent to 9.2 million tonnes. (Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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