Vegetable oil imports grow by 23.64% in 2014-15
Vegetable oil imports in the oil year 2014-15 surged by 23.64% as shipments of palm products as well as soft oils like soybean, sunflower and rapeseed (canola) grew by a record margin. During the previous oil year (November 2014 to October 2015), imports of edible oil and non-edible oil increased to 146.1 lakh tonnes from 118.2 lakh tonnes in the oil year 2013-14. Last month, vegetable oil imports reached 16.7 lakh tonnes - the highest in a single month since allowed in OGL (Oil and Gas Lease) in 1994, up 34% from about 12.47 tonnes in October 2014. Similarly, imports of palm products during October 2015 were the highest in any single month. “In 2014-15 import of palm oil increased by 15.7 lakh tonnes and reported at 95.4 lakh tonnes compared to 79.6 lakh tonnes in 2013-14. Soft oil import jumped to 48.8 lakh tonnes from 36.6 lakh tonnes in 2013-14,” the Solvent Extractors' Association (SEA) said in a statement. India’s dependence on vegetable oil imports has gone up by more than 70% during the current fiscal. Imports of edible oil, particularly soybean, sunflower and rapeseed oils, have gone up considerably due to attractive global prices. As per the SEA, domestic consumption of edible oil increased due to increase in per capita consumption (4.5%) and population growth (1.76%). Domestic oilseed production was also hit by inadequate rain in the last two years. “Excess supply of veg. oils in international market coupled with low price, boosted import. NIL export duty by Indonesia and Malaysia also boosted their export to India,” SEA said. “The government had slightly increased duty on vegetable oil imports, but the quantum of increase wasn’t sufficient. We had presented the government a different import duty structure on vegetable oil and crude oil, in which import duty on vegetable oil should have been 15% higher than that on crude oil,” Y M Mogul, Deputy Secretary of the SEA, had earlier told the Dollar Business.
November 17, 2015 |5:25pm IST