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India’s edible oil imports up 12% to 1.098 million tonnes in February

Friday, 17 March 2023 | 17:00

India’s edible oil imports rose 12 per cent year-on-year in February to 10.98 lakh tonnes on higher imports of crude palm oil, according to industry body SEA.

In a statement, the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) on Wednesday said that edible oil imports rose to 10,98,475 tonnes in February from 9,83,608 tonnes in the year-ago period.

Imports of non-edible oil fell to 16,006 tonnes in February from 36,389 tonnes in the same month last year.

Total imports of vegetable oils (edible oils and non-edible oils) went up 9 per cent to 11,14,481 tonnes in February this year from 10,19,997 tonnes a year ago.

During November 2022 to February 2023 period, imports of edible oils rose to 58,44,765 tonnes from 45,91,220 tonnes in the corresponding period of the previous oil marketing year.

Oil marketing year runs from November to October.

Imports of non-edible oils fell to 43,135 tonnes in the first four months of 2022-23 oil year from 99,938 tonnes in the year-ago period.

Total imports of vegetable oils rose 26 per cent to 5,887,900 tonnes during November 2022-February 2023 period from 46,91,158 tonnes in the previous year.

India imports palm oil from Indonesia and Malaysia, while soyabean oil comes from Argentina and Brazil.

SEA expressed concern over the sharp increase in import of RBD (refined) palmolein in the first four months of current oil year at 8.20 lakh tonnes, nearly 22.5 per cent of total palm oil import.

“India’s palm refining industry is heavily suffering from very low capacity utilisation due to excessive import of RBD palmolein and getting transformed into mere packers,” it said.

The industry body said that the duty difference between CPO (crude palm oil) and refined palmolein/palm oil needs to be increased from the current 7.5 per cent to at least 15 per cent, by imposing additional 7.5 per cent agriculture cess on RBD Palmolein.

“The current MSP (minimum support price) for the mustard is Rs 5,450 per quintal, while mustard is being sold at least Rs 300/400 per kg below MSP in various mandis. The urgent need is to start procurement of mustard seed at MSP rate by NAFED in all major mandis, raise the effective duty on RBD palmolein to bring up overall price level and to further support the market, and restart the future trading in mustard,” SEA said.

During November 2022 to February 2023, SEA said the share of refined oils (RBD palmolein) has increased to 14 per cent from 11 per cent while the share of crude oils has declined to 86 per cent from 89 per cent compared to last year.
Source: PTI

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