- India's Vegetable Oil Imports Rise 21%, Palm Oil Imports Dominate
- India's Edible Oil Industry in Crisis as Palm Oil Imports Soar
- Government Needs to Take Action to Protect Domestic Edible Oil Industry
Increase in Refined Palm Oil Imports a Cause for Concern
India's vegetable oil imports rose by 21% to 81.10 lakh tonnes in the first six months of the current oil year, driven by increased shipments of refined palm oil. This is a cause for concern for the domestic palm oil refining industry, which is heavily suffering from very low capacity utilization.
The Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEA) has called for an increase in the duty difference between crude palm oil (CPO) and refined palm oil, from the current 7.5% to at least 15%. This would help to protect the domestic palm oil refining industry and encourage the use of CPO in the country.
The SEA has also warned that the continued increase in imports of refined palm oil could lead to a decline in the domestic production of edible oils. This would have a negative impact on the country's food security.
India Imports Palm Oil Mainly from Indonesia and Malaysia
India is the world's leading vegetable oil buyer. It imports palm oil mainly from Indonesia and Malaysia, and a small quantity of crude soft oil, including soyabean oil from Argentina. Sunflower is imported from Russia and Ukraine.
Edible Oil Stocks Slightly Lower in May
As of May 1, edible oil stocks were estimated to be 33.74 lakh tonne at various ports, slightly lower than 34.47 lakh tonne in the previous month.
The SEA has said that the current level of edible oil stocks is adequate to meet the demand for the next few months. However, it has warned that the government needs to take steps to ensure that the domestic edible oil industry is not adversely affected by the continued increase in imports of refined palm oil.