The dragon is literally guzzling groundnut oil from Gujarat. The total exports of groundnut oil to China has crossed a massive 1.10 lakh tones till the end of December as against the total export of 40,000 tons in the entire previous financial year.

According to exporters, they already have confirmed orders of 70,000 tones for January and February and total export of the season is expected to cross 2 lakh tones.

China’s total production of groundnut is around 1.5 million tones, but the floods last year ravaged nearly 35% of the standing crop. To fulfil the demand gap of 50 lakh tones, the country is importing the oil in huge quantities, industry sources said.

Meanwhile, oil mills in Rajkot are working overtime to meet the demand. In fact, they have also started getting groundnut from Rajasthan for crushing over the last 20 days.

Kishor Viradiya, president, Saurashtra Oil Mills Association (SOMA) said, “Millers are ready to buy groundnut from anywhere they get cheaper. We are getting nearly 3,000 tons per day currently from Rajasthan for the last 20 days.”

Rajasthan’s produce is available at Rs 4,800 per quintal while Saurashtra’s groundnut costs Rs 5,300 -Rs 5,400 per quintal.

On an average, the millers crush 10 lakh tones ground and extract three lakh ton oil.

Samir Shah, an oil miller, said, “Due to Covid19-induced slowdown, the demand for groundnut oil in the domestic market fell sharply. The same stock is now being exported.” Generally, people buy groundnut oil stock of 12 months in bulk during October to December, but the purchasing has been hit this time.

Praful Desai, an exporter of edible oil said, “We have orders booked till February. The oil deficit in China is so high that they want to import as much as possible of India’s production. They are also importing peanuts of even inferior quality to extract oil.”


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