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Veg oil imports dip 9% in February

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Mar 15, 2018, 08.26 PM IST

Commodity Summary

KOLKATA: India’s vegetable oil imports in February declined 9% from a year ago to 1,157,044 tonnes, according to figures released by the Solvent Extractors' Association of India.

Imports of the commodity in the November 2017 to February 2018 period stood at 4,785,778 tonnes, up 2% from the year-ago period.

On March 1, the government increased import duty on crude palm oil, RBD palmolein and RBD palm oil. Import duty on CPO was increased to 44% from 30% (effective duty 48.4%) while that for RBD palmolein and refined palm oil was raised to 54% from 40% (effective duty 59.4%). No change were made for sunflower oil, rapeseed oil and soybean oil.

The association welcomed the increase in duty but said the government has missed the opportunity to provide a 15% duty difference between crude and refined oils, as requested by the association, to encourage domestic refining industry and promote “Make in India”.

In a press release, the association said there is need to increase import duty on rapeseed/mustard/canola oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil to support the farmers.

The stock of edible oils as on March 1 at various ports is estimated at 757,000 tonnes (CPO 280,000 tonnes, RBD palmolein 120,000 tonnes, degummed soybean oil 170,000 tonnes, crude sunflower oil 180,000 tonnes and 7,000 tonnes of rapeseed (canola oil) and about 1,440,000 tonnes in pipelines.

Total stock at ports and in pipelines is reported at 2,197,000 tonnes, more or less the same as in February. India’s monthly requirement is about 18.25 lakh tonnes and it operates at 30 days’ stock, against which it currently holds over 21.97 lakh tonnes equal to 36 days’ requirement.
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