Govt allows limited export of edible oil

Written by Commodities Bureau | Agencies | New Delhi, Nov 20 | Updated: Nov 21 2008, 05:35am hrs
Close on the heels of raising the import duty on crude soyoil to 20% from zero, the government on Thursday allowed limited exports of edible oil, partially lifting a ban on the overseas sales. Edible oil firms can export only in packets of 5 kg and up to a limit of 10,000 tonne, an official statement said.

The government permitted edible oil exports till October 31, 2009, the statement said. Although the easing of export norms was much awaited following the crash in prices, edible oil industry sources said that it would not have a tangible affect in lifting prices as the country exports just around 40,000 - 50,000 tonnes of edible oil annually. India imports more than half of its annual edible oil demand of more than 12 million tonne because of low domestic oilseed output.

India is not a big player in the edible oil export market as the country is still mainly dependent on imports. Hence there is little impact on oilseed prices to be expected, a senior industry official said. He added that mostly groundnut oil was exported out of India and that too in very small quantities. Moreover, the quantitative restriction of 10,000 tonne and the sharp fall in international edible oil markets further erodes any possibility of more exports, the official added. The government re-imposed a import duty of 20% on crude soyoil, but left duties on refined edible oils and crude palm oil unchanged.