SEA demands increase in veg oil import duty amid surge in imports

SEA demands increase in veg oil import duty amid surge in imports

Higher palm oil stocks in Malaysia and Indonesia causing a dip in international and domestic prices of veg oil

The Dollar Business Bureau | @TheDollarBiz Vegetable Oil(2)-The Dollar Business The Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) has reiterated its demand to increase import duty on crude vegetable oils from 2.5% to 10% and refined vegetable oils from 10% to 25% to prevent a price dip during the harvest season of major oil crops in India which has commenced in some parts of the country. According to SEA data, India’s total vegetable oil imports in September 2014 declined from the previous month but is still up about 21% from September 2013. Overall, India’s exports in April – September 2014 stood at around 6.24 million tonnes, which is up about 24% from 5.03 million tonnes in the corresponding period last year.

Veg oil imports India - TheDollarBusiness Oct 2014 Source - SEA

High imports are partly due to burgeoning stocks in main palm oil producing countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia. The Malaysian government has removed export duty on palm products for two months beginning September 1, 2014, and Indonesia has done the same thing effective October 2014. Higher imports may further dampen veg oil prices which are at the lowest level since 2008. According to SEA, the average price of Crude Palm Oil (CPO) in September 2014 stood at around $706 per ton (CIF), which is down around 11.75% from year ago levels of around $800 per tonne. SEA said, “Local prices are also at a level where Indian oilseeds growing farmers will be in distress with a kharif harvest just started.” There is urgent need to support the farmers by increasing import duty on crude and refined vegetable oils, it added.    

This article was published on October 16, 2014.