India reduces base import price of edible oils

Mumbai, Jan 2 | Updated: Jan 3 2006, 07:18am hrs
India, the worlds leading edible oil importer, on Monday, reduced base import prices of palm and soybean oils in line with market prices. Of the approximately 11 million tonnes of edible oils India consumes a year, it buys nearly half in the form of palm oils from Malaysia and Indonesia and soft oils from Argentina and Brazil.

A finance ministry official said the base import price of crude palm oil had been cut to $417 a tonne from $433, while that of crude soybean oil had been reduced to $497 a tonne from $510. India fixes base prices to calculate customs duties to prevent the loss of revenue due to under-invoicing by importers. Traders pay import duties on base values irrespective of the prices paid for the oil. The government also reduced the prices of RBD (refined, bleached and deoderised) palm oil to $432 a tonne from $435, other palm oil to $425 from $434, crude palmolein to $418 from $440, RBD palmolein to $421 from $445 and other palmolein to $420 from $443. India imports 150,000-200,000 tonnes of crude palm oil every month.