U.S. refined palm oil imports were 155,389 MT in March, a 13-month high. (Total PO imports were higher in December 2019 than they were in March due to unusually strong imports of crude PO in December.)
Use of refined palm oil in edible applications during Q1 2020 totaled 579.1 million pounds, up 4 percent from Q1 2019. April brought lower utilization, however, as COVID-19 shelter-in-place restrictions kept consumers at home, which hit the food service industry hard: Refined palm oil use fell 11 percent YOY to 169.2 million pounds.
U.S. refined PKO imports remained higher than average in March, at 40,436 MT. Q1 imports totaled 101,366 MT vs. 87,992 MT in Q1 2019.
Crude coconut oil imports were 17,047 MT in March, significantly higher than the year-ago crude oil volume but lower than historical imports for the month. Imports of refined oil were 26,776 MT, up over 6,700 MT from February and 83 percent above February 2019 imports. Total Q1 coconut oil imports, at 137,905 MT, were up 55% YOY.
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