Agri Commodities

India To Halt Duty-Free Soyoil Imports From April 1 To Support Domestic Oilseed Farmers

India To Halt Duty-Free Soyoil Imports From April 1 To Support Domestic Oilseed Farmers

India is one of the largest producers of many oilseeds in the world. Many different oil seeds are grown in the country that covers approximately 12% of the total cropped area and the main oil seeds produced in India are groundnut, coconut, sunflower, soybean, mustard, sesamum (til), castor seeds, cotton seeds, and linseed. Despite being one of the largest oilseed crop-producing countries in the world, India is also one of the largest importers of vegetable oils today. There is a spurt in vegetable oil consumption in recent years in respect of both edible as well as industrial usage.

In May’22, the Government of India (GOI) allowed for duty-free imports of 2 million metric tonnes (MMT) of soyoil for the 2022-23 period and planned for duty-free imports of another 2MMT of soyoil in 2023-24.

Current Scenario

On 11th January’23, the GOI said that India will halt its duty-free imports of crude soyoil from 1st April’23 as the world’s biggest vegetable oil importer tries to support the local oilseed farmers in the country. The Government said that GOI will continue with duty-free imports of 2MMT of crude sunflower oil in the current and next fiscal year up to March’24.

India’s Vegetable Oil Imports

India obtains sunflower oil from Russia and Ukraine and imports soy oil primarily from Argentina, Brazil, and the United States. The country mostly imports palm oil from Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

A Mumbai-based dealer with a global trade house said that the discontinuation in the duty-free imports of crude Soyoil would help the rival palm oil in the market which would attract import duties.

He also said that “Palm oil will find a level playing field. Sunflower oil will also become attractive.” With lower Soyoil imports, palm oil and sunflower oil will become attractive options and give an opportunity to the domestic palm and sunflower oil industry.

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