Edible Oil Imports Jump 12% to 10.98 Lakh Tonnes in Feb
Edible Oil Imports Jump 12% to 10.98 Lakh Tonnes in Feb

Edible Oil Imports Jump 12% to 10.98 Lakh Tonnes in Feb

  • 16-Mar-2023 6:10 PM
  • Journalist: Motoki Sasaki

India: India's edible oil imports rose sharply in February by 12%, reaching 10.98 lakh tonnes due to greater imports of crude Palm oil. This figure is higher than the imports recorded in the same period last year, which was 9.83 lakh tonnes.

In February 2021, imports of non-edible oil decreased to 16,006 tonnes from 36,389 tonnes in the same month of the previous year. Total imports of vegetable oils (edible and non-edible) rose by 9 per cent to 11,14,481 tonnes compared to 10,19,997 tonnes a year earlier.

During November 2022 to February 2023, imports of edible oils increased significantly to 58,44,765 tonnes from 45,91,220 tonnes in the corresponding period of the previous oil marketing year. Conversely, imports of non-edible oils dropped to 43,135 tonnes in the same four-month window of the 2022-23 oil year compared to 99,938 tonnes in the year prior.

During the November 2022-February 2023 period, total imports of vegetable oils in India rose 26 per cent to 5,887,900 tonnes. This is a significant increase from the 46,91,158 tonnes imported during the previous year.

Palm oil is mainly imported from Indonesia and Malaysia while soybean oil comes from Argentina and Brazil. The sudden surge of RBD (refined) Palmolein imports in the first four months of current oil year which amount to 8.20 lakh tonnes - approximately 22.5 per cent of total Palm oil imports.

"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 stated.

Increase of the duty difference between CPO (crude Palm oil) and refined Palmolein/Palm oil from its current level of 7.5 per cent to at least 15 per cent. They suggest that an additional 7.5 per cent agriculture cess be imposed on RBD Palmolein in order to achieve this goal.

The current MSP (minimum support price) for mustard, which is Rs 5,450 per quintal, but is often sold below this rate in various mandis. To address this disparity procurement of mustard seed at MSP rate by NAFED should begin in major mandis; effective duty on RBD Palmolein should be raised to bring up overall price level; and future trading in mustard should be restarted.

During the November 2022 to February 2023 timeframe, a notable shift in the share of refined oils (RBD Palmolein) compared to the previous year. The share of RBD Palmolein rose from 11% to 14%, while that of crude oils declined from 89% to 86%.

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