Import of edible oil up 15%

Mumbai, Nov 15 | Updated: Nov 16 2005, 06:07am hrs
Edible oil import into the country has increased 15% in the recently concluded oil year (November 2004 to October 2005). The non-edible vegetable oil import has jumped a sharp 74%.

According to data compiled by the Solvent Extractors Association (SEA) of India the total edible oil import during the oil year was 50.42 lakh tonnes compared to 43.96 lakh tonnes last year.

However, the 10% duty differential between crude and refined oils has encouraged larger import of unrefined oils over refined oils. The overall import of refined oils during the oil year is reported at 4.48 lakh tonnes while crude oils is reported at 45.94 lakh tonnes.

Share of refined oil has declined to 9% from 18% while crude oil has increased to 91% from 82% for same period of last year. This has been possible due to duty difference leading to value addition within the country.

Besides, this has lent support to domestic vegetable oil processing industry through improved availability of raw materials and increased capacity utilisation.

Palm oil is mainly imported from Indonesia/Malaysia while degummed soybean oil is mainly from Argentina & Brazil.

Palm oil products import during the oil year was 30 lakh tonnes, while import of soybean oil increased to 20 lakh tonnes from 8.9 lakh tonnes same period of previous year. Soybean oil import has doubled during the current oil year.

While entire incremental import has gone to soybean oil, palm oil in terms of quantity was reduced to 30 lakh tonnes from 34 lakh tonnes. Share of palm oil reduced from 78% to 60% while share of soft oil went up from 22% to 40%.

Interstingly, import of vanaspati (hydrogenated oil) increased, due to lower duty on vanaspati (30%) and also because of Free Trade Agreement (FTA), signed by India with Nepal & Sri Lanka. Under FTA, import of Vanaspati is allowed at zero percent duty. Also import of PFAD & CPS increasing for industrial use viz. soap and oleochemicals and their import have touched around 400,000 tonnes during 2004-05.

The total import of non-edible oil during November 2004 to October 2005 is reported at 409,482 tonnes compared to 235,163 tonnes during the same period of last year up by 74%.

Crude Palm Stearin (193,224 tonnes), PFAD (108,014 tonnes) and CPKO(52,445 tonnes) are major non-edible oils being imported.