India's palm oil imports fell more than expected in March from the previous month as crude variety purchases fell more sharply than expected on higher prices while the decline in refined oil was broadly in line with forecasts in a Reuters poll.
Importers bought 28.6 percent less total palm oil in March with crude palm oil purchases at 278,696 tonnes, down 22.5 percent from the previous month, data from the Solvent Extractors' Association (SEA) showed on Friday.
Refined palm oil imports fell 38.6 percent as buying eased when New Delhi failed to introduce an anticipated import duty to counter export tax changes by Indonesia.
India, the world's No 1 importer of cooking oils, buys mainly palm oil from Indonesia and Malaysia and a small quantity of soyoil from Argentina and Brazil.
India imported 186,788 tonnes of refined palm oil in March, down from 304,048 tonnes in February.
Refined palm oil imports had almost trebled in February from January as buyers scrambled to stock up ahead of the March 16 budget, but dropped off in March as the world's top vegetable oil buyer did nothing to curb overseas purchases.