rice: Humble rice bran turns into sizzling commodity as India scours for edible oils

Rice bran has develop into a sought-after commodity in India because the world’s greatest importer of vegetable oils tries to beat an edible oil scarcity attributable to world provide disruptions.

A by-product in rice milling, rice bran has been historically used for cattle and poultry feed. In recent times, oil mills have began extracting rice oil, which is common amongst health-conscious shoppers however traditionally extra costly than rival oils.

Rice bran oil accounts for a small portion of total vegoil consumption in India however is among the fastest-growing amongst edible oils, business officers say, and manufacturing and imports are set to extend to fulfill the demand.

The latest rally in world edible oil costs fuelled by Indonesia’s restrictions on palm oil exports and disruptions to sunflower oil shipments from Ukraine has worn out rice bran oil’s conventional premium over rival oils. That has triggered a surge in demand for bran oil which has comparable style properties to sunflower oil.

As sunflower oil imports plunged from Ukraine, shoppers began changing it with rice bran oil, stated B.V. Mehta, secretary normal of the Worldwide Affiliation of Rice Bran Oil (IARBO). India often fulfills greater than two-thirds of its sunflower oil necessities by way of imports from Ukraine.

“Due to COVID-19, I used to be searching for more healthy meals choices. I first used rice bran oil for well being advantages six months in the past and since then I have been utilizing it,” stated Aditi Sharma, a Mumbai-based homemaker, who switched to rice bran oil from sunflower oil.

“It tastes good and is sweet for well being as nicely,” Sharma stated, referring to the oil’s cholestrol-lowering and anti-oxidative properties.

In India, rice bran oil is now buying and selling at 147,000 Indian rupees ($1,879) per tonne in contrast with sunflower oil at 170,000 rupees.

Rice bran oil often instructions round a 25% premium over different oils, however in latest months has been cheaper than imported vegetable oils, making it extra inexpensive for the plenty, in accordance with information compiled by Solvent Extractors’ Affiliation of India (SEA).

Aggressive costs boosted rice bran oil consumption since March and has inspired corporations to extract extra oil.

Sharma stated that even when premiums returned, she would nonetheless purchase rice bran oil for her household of 4.


The demand for rice bran oil has develop into so sturdy that it has flipped the economics for rice millers, who are actually prioritising bran oil output.

“For rice mills, as an alternative of by-product, now rice bran has develop into a principal product,” stated Puneet Goyal, chief govt officer at Ricela Group, the nation’s greatest producer of rice bran oil.

To satisfy rising demand Ricela is planning to extend oil refining capability to 750 tonnes per day within the subsequent two months from 600 tonnes, Goyal stated.

With a vegetable oil scarcity, oil mills are able to pay document excessive costs for bran, stated B.V. Krishna Rao, president of the All India Rice Exporters Affiliation.

Rice bran costs have jumped to 30,000 rupees to 36,000 rupees per tonne in contrast with paddy costs of round 19,000 rupees, which is milled for rice extraction.

Nevertheless, a scarcity of oil processors in all rice milling areas stays a key limiting issue on bran oil provide, as rice bran should be processed into oil inside 48 hours of being separated from chaff so as to be suitable for eating.

Solely 55% of bran is presently processed, with the rest going to the decrease priced feed market.

Even so, with a number of oil processors maximising output, the nation is on the right track for document bran oil manufacturing of 1.05 million tonnes this yr, up from round 950,000 tonnes in 2021, which ought to assist India scale back imports of rival oils.


Edible oil consumption in India trebled over the previous 20 years because the inhabitants rose, incomes elevated and other people began to eat out extra.

The nation consumes round 23 million tonnes of vegetable oil every year, with practically 13 million tonnes coming from imports. Domestically-produced bran oil can meet about 5% of total vegoil consumption.

Corporations corresponding to

, and Cargill’s Indian unit have launched their very own rice bran oil manufacturers to fulfill rising city demand.

Rice bran oil manufacturers have develop into common and shopper acceptance has been rising, stated Himanshu Agarwal, govt director at Satyam Balajee, India’s greatest rice exporter.

“This new phase is simply rising,” Agarwal stated, including that corporations beforehand providing primarily palm, soybean, sunflower and rapeseed oils had been now launching rice bran oil merchandise.

Even institutional patrons corresponding to PepsiCo and Haldirams are rising use of bran oil for frying, stated Goyal of Ricela.

However native provides will not be sufficient to cater to rising demand.

“A number of corporations are importing rice bran oil from Bangladesh, however even Bangladesh has restricted surplus for the exports,” stated IARBO’s Mehta.

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