Sunflower Oil

Indian Government Discontinues Tariff Rate Quota For Sunflower Oil Import As Oilseed Prices Drop Below MSP

Sunflower oil is an edible oil which is extracted from sunflower seeds. It is widely used in cooking. Sunflower oil is also used in beverages and in the cosmetic industry. Owing to high concentration of monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats and low saturated fat content, it is considered as healthy edible oil.

Russia and Ukraine are the leading producers of sunflower oil in the world. Talking about exports, Ukraine leads the pack, followed by Russia, Argentina, Turkey, France and Spain.

In terms of imports, India is the largest consumer and importer of vegetable oil in the world, specifically sunflower oil. The Asian nation depends on Russia and Ukraine to fulfill its domestic consumption needs of sunflower oil. The country imports approximately 1.9-2.5 million tonnes of crude sunflower oil annually, over 85% of which is sourced from Ukraine and Russia.

On 24th of May 2022, the DGFT (Directorate General of Foreign Trade) authorized the import of around 20 lakh tonnes of crude soybean oil as well as crude sunflower oil annually for two years under TRQ (Tariff Rate Quota) at a zero rate of custom tax and Agricultural Infrastructure and Development Cess. The action was intended to manage inflation and rising edible oil rates at that point of time.

However, owing to the decrease in the minimum support price of sunflower seed, the GOI has discontinued tariff rate quota for the import of sunflower oil.

Sunflower Seed Oil Import In India

India has removed the TRQ (Tariff Rate Quota) for the import of crude sunflower seed oil for 2023-24, which was set to expire on June 30, 2024.

The move was made as the country is expected to generate a record mustard harvest and farmers have massive supplies of soyabean. Prices of mustard, a rabi crop that has begun arriving lately, have crashed throughout the country’s agro – based markets below the levels of the Centre’s minimum support price (MSP).

According to the public notice broadcasted on 1 March, 2023, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade( DGFT), under Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry, announced that, no Tariff Rate Quota shall be budgeted for sunflower seed oil import in 2023-2024 financial year.

The TRQ granted for import of Sunflower oil for the previous fiscal year 2022-23 will be valid for import clearance until 30 June 2023, providing the Bill of Lading date is 31 March 2023 or earlier. As a result, the deadline for importing crude sunflower seed oil under the TRQ has been moved to 31st March 2023 from  30th June 2023.


On 11th January 2023, the DGFT canceled the TRQ facility for crude soybean oil and this will come into effect from April 1, 2023.

Executive Director of the Solvent Extractors Association (SEA) of India, Hon’ble BV Mehta, welcomed the recent public notice by DGFT, saying it will provide a level playing field for local refiners and a lucrative pricing for farmers.

In his monthly message to SEA members on February 24, SEA President Hon’ble Mr. Ajay Jhunjhunwala stated that the organization has firmly advocated for the elimination of the TRQ for sunflower oil for 2023-24. He expressed hope that the administration will make a decision.

According to Hon’ble BV Mehta, the DGFT’s verdict will boost mustard prices. On Monday, Hon’ble Mr.  Ajay Jhunjhunwala wrote to the Union, requesting that the government should intervene to prevent the price of mustard from falling below the MSP threshold. He said that mustard prices had fallen below the MSP limit of $5,450 per quintal.

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