India’s imports of palm oils declined by 29.15 per cent to 5.44 lakh tonnes in December 2021, but the rise in shipments of RBD palmolein is threatening the survival of domestic refineries, Solvent Extractors Association (SEA) said on Wednesday.
India, the world’s leading vegetable oil buyer, had imported 7,68,392 tonnes of palm oils in December 2020. In December last year, palm oil imports fell to 5,44,343 tonnes. The country’s total vegetable oil imports declined by 10 per cent to 12.26 lakh tonnes in December 2021 compared to 13.56 lakh tonnes in the year-ago period. The share of palm oil is over 60 pc of the country’s total vegetable oil imports.
There has been a rise in imports of RBD palmolein that will hit domestic refiners. There is a huge disparity in prices of RBD palmolein and Crude Palm Oil (CPO) after reduction in import duty on the former. “The reduction in effective import duty on (refined) palmolein from 19.25 pc to 13.75 pc without reduction in import duty on CPO has the potential to increase the import of refined palmolein at the cost of CPO, which is the raw material for domestic refiners,” SEA said.