India Finance News

Refined palm oil: Trade body wants government to cap imports

Last week, the government had put plam oil imports from Malaysia under restricted category

The Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEAI) has urged the government to cap imports of refined palm oil and palmolein at a maximum 50,000 tonne per month to boost local refining capacity and support local oilseed growing farmers.

Citing reports of the government’s plan to issue licences to state agencies for distribution under Public Distribution System (PDS) and to private organisations, the oilseeds crushing units body urged government to meaningfully restrict such imports or else it warned that the move can open floodgates for refined or RBD palm oil from Malaysia.

Last week, the government had put plam oil imports from Malaysia under restricted category following criticism by the country’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad of India’s actions in Kashmir and on the Citizenship Amendment Act. In the past few months refined oil imports from Malaysia were at 80%.

The SEAI has said that if at all the government issues licences to import refined oil, it should be capped at 50,000 per month, and licences should be issued for importing in different regions of the country to avoid dumping in one area. Before restricting imports of refined palm oil, industry officials were told informally, not to import oil from Malaysia. Imports had already stopped since last one week following the curbs, and buyers even started importing crude palm oil from Indonesia, even if they need to pay a premium of $10 per tonne over price offered by Malaysia.

India is the world’s largest importer of palm oil, buying more than 9 million tonne annually mainly from Indonesia and Malaysia.

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Source: Financial Express

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