India's vegetable oil imports down 17% so far this season

Business Thursday 11/April/2024 21:40 PM
India's vegetable oil imports down 17% so far this season

New Delhi: The import of palm oil to India has decreased in the last five months, spanning from November 2023 to March 2024. According to a report by the Solvent Extractors Association of India on imports of vegetable oils, palm oil imports during this period plummeted to 3,529,839 tonnes, marking a substantial decrease from 4,399,128 tonnes recorded during November 2023.

The report further highlights a broader trend of declining overall vegetable oil imports, with the overall import volume during the five months from November 23 to March 24 reported at 5,830,115 tonnes. This marks a significant decrease of 17 per cent compared to the same period in the previous year, when imports stood at 7,060,193 tonnes.

In December 2023, the central government extended the reduced import duty regime for some of the key edible oils by a year as part of its interventions to keep food inflation in check.

The reduced duty, which was set to end in March 2024, will continue till March 2025. The basic import duty on refined soyabean oil and refined sunflower oil was reduced from 17.5 per cent to 12.5 per cent.

This notable decline in vegetable oil imports underscores shifting market dynamics and potential adjustments in domestic production of the palm oil sector of India. The decline in palm oil imports is particularly noteworthy given its status as a staple commodity in India's culinary sector and a key ingredient in various food products and cooking practices.

India is the world's second-largest consumer and number one vegetable oil importer, and it meets around 60 per cent of its need through imports. A large part of it is palm oil and its derivatives are imported from Indonesia and Malaysia. India majorly consumes mustard, palm, soybean, and sunflower-derived edible oils.