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Humble rice bran becomes in demand, as India searches for edible oils

  • Date posted : June 27, 2022

To combat an edible oil scarcity brought on by disruptions in the worldwide supply, rice bran has grown to be a highly sought-after product in India, the largest importer of vegetable oils.


Rice bran, a by-product of the milling of rice, has long been used as a feed for livestock and poultry. Rice oil, which is preferred by health-conscious consumers but has historically been more expensive than competing oils, has recently begun to be extracted by oil mills.


According to industry officials, rice bran oil is one of the fastest-growing edible oils, although it only makes up a small fraction of India's total vegetable oil consumption. To satisfy the demand, output and imports are expected to rise.


According to B.V. Mehta, secretary-general of the International Association of Rice Bran Oil, as sunflower oil imports from Ukraine fell, consumers began substituting rice bran oil (IARBO). Over two-thirds of India's needs for sunflower oil are typically met by imports from Ukraine.


The current price of rice bran oil in India is 147,000 Indian rupees ($1,879) per tonne, whereas the price of sunflower oil is 170,000 rupees.


According to information gathered by the Solvent Extractors' Association of India, rice bran oil typically demands a 25 percent premium over other oils but has recently become less expensive than imported vegetable oils, making it more accessible to the general public (SEA).


Since March, increased demand for rice bran oil due to competitive prices has prompted businesses to increase oil extraction.


Since there is such a high demand for rice bran oil, rice millers are now prioritizing the production of bran oil, which has completely changed their economics.

According to Puneet Goyal, chief executive officer of Ricela Group, the nation's largest producer of rice bran oil, "for rice mills, rice bran has now become a core product, instead of a by-product."


Oil mills are willing to pay record-breaking prices for bran due to a shortfall of vegetable oil, according to B.V. Krishna Rao, head of All India Rice Exporters Association.


Compared to the price of paddy, which is milled to extract rice, which was around 19,000 rupees per tonne, rice bran prices have increased to between 30,000 and 36,000 rupees per tonne.

To address the growing urban demand, businesses including Adani Wilmar NSE 1.96 percent, Emami NSE -0.01 percent, and Cargill's Indian division have introduced their rice bran oil brands.


According to Himanshu Agarwal, executive director at Satyam Balajee, India's largest rice exporter, rice bran oil brands have grown in popularity and customer acceptance has been increasing.


Agarwal stated that businesses that previously mostly offered palm, soybean, sunflower, and rapeseed oils were now introducing rice bran oil products. "This new market is just booming," he added.

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