Import of vegetable oil during January 2018 has been reported at 12.91 lakh tonne compared to 10. 02 lakh tonne in January 2017, up by 25%, data compiled by The Solvent Extractors’ Association of India has said. The monthly imports include 12.46 lakh tonne of edible oil and 44,294 tonne of non-edible oil.
The overall import of vegetable oil during November 2017 to January 2018 is reported at 36.28 lakh tonne, up 6% compared to 34.14 lakh tonne during the same period a year ago.
In the Union Budget presented on February 1,2018, import duty on crude cottonseed oil, oilve oil and safflower oil increased from 12.5% to 30% and refined oil to 35% in line with other crude oil and refined oil. Also, 10% social welfare surcharge is now levied on all imported goods including edible oil, resulted in to a hike in import duty, CPO and CDSBO 33% (30.9%), RBD palmolein 44% (41.2%), CSFO & canola oil 27.5% (25.75%). With this, duty difference between crude and refined oil increased from 10.1% to 11.0%, which will provide some more cushion to domestic refiners.
Also, currently, the CPO is imported at 30% import duty. In processing, refining of crude palm oil, palm stearin and PFAD are generated to the extent of 25% to CPO (5.75% PFAD & 19.0% palm stearin). Import duty on actual user condition on these by-products is nil and their import is increasing which is seriously affecting the viability of refineries engaged in processing of crude palm oil, BV Mehta, executive director of the Association said.
The association has asked the government that palm stearin and PFAD should attract the same level of duty as CPO to provide a level playing field to the domestic refiners, and at same time, consumer at large will also be benefited by a way of lower price of RBD palmolein.
The stock of edible oil as on February 1, 2018 at various ports is estimated at 955,000 tonne (CPO 355,000 tonne, RBD palmolein 130,000 tonne, degummed soybean oil 200,000 tonne, crude sunflower oil 160,000 tonne and 10,000 tonne of rapeseed (canola) oil) and about 1,340,000 tonne in pipelines. Total stock at ports and in pipelines is reported at 2,195,000 tonne, increased by 19,000 tonne from 2,176,000 tonne in January 2018. India’s monthly requirement is about 18.25 lakh tonne and it operates at 30 days stock against which currently holding stock over 21.95 lakh tonne equal to 36 days requirements.
During November 2017 to January 2018, import of refined oil (RBD palmolein) has decreased to 404,950 tonne from 683,125 tonne in the same period of last year, however import of crude oil increased and reported at 3,125,501 tonne compared to 2,659,119 tonne during the same period of last year.During November 2017 to January 2018, palm oil import has increased to 2,274,269 tonne from 2,137,231 tonne during the same period of last year, however soft oil import also increased to 1,256,182 tonne from 1,205,013 tonne during the same period of last year.
Since October 2016, landed price of RBD palmolein and CPO have remained more or less the same encouraging larger import of RBD palmolein at the cost of CPO.