By Rajendra Jadhav
MUMBAI (Reuters) - India's palm oil imports in May fell 10% from a month ago as top producer Indonesia curbed exports of the edible oil, a trade body said on Tuesday.
The south Asian country is the world's biggest importer of vegetable oils and lower purchases could weigh on Malaysian palm oil futures.
India imported 514,022 tonnes of palm oil in May, down from 572,508 tonnes in April, according to the Solvent Extractors' Association (SEA) of India.
Indonesia, the world's biggest producer and exporter of palm oil, on April 28 halted exports of the product to control soaring prices at home. Jakarta allowed exports to resume from May 23, but put in place policies to safeguard domestic supplies.
Indian refiners in May sourced more palm oil from Malaysia, Thailand and Papua New Guinea, but still the overall imports were down, the SEA said.
"In June palm oil imports could rise above 600,000 tonnes as Indonesia has started giving export permits," a Mumbai-based dealer with a global trading firm said.
Indonesia's export allocation for palm oil products has been raised to 2.25 million tonnes, a senior trade ministry official said on Monday, from around 1 million.
India's soyoil imports in May jumped 37% from a month ago to 373,043 tonnes, while sunflower oil imports more than doubled to 118,482 tonnes, the trade body said.
India buys soyoil mainly from Argentina and Brazil and sunflower oil from Ukraine and Russia.
The country's soyoil imports could rise sharply in the coming months as New Delhi has allowed duty free imports of 2 million tonnes of the commodity, traders said.
(Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)