Veg oil imports are set to decline for the first time in four years, as per the prediction of Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA), The Hindu Business Line has reported. Total import of vegetable oils (edible and non-edible) for 2017-18 is expected to go down by 14.7-14.8 lakh tonnes, lesser by about 7-8 lakh tonnes compared to 2016-17. Vegetable oils include sunflower oil, rapeseed oil, palm oil and soybean oil.
Between November 2017 and August 2018, vegetable oil imports dropped by 3.7 per cent. The oil importing season ends in October 2018. The Centre had raised the import duties earlier in the year in March, making imports costlier. However, importers had used the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) to import oil from neighbouring countries. This had dented the impact of the import duty hike.
“Imports from neighbouring countries, particularly Bangladesh and Nepal, under SAFTA by land route continued,” SEA said in a statement. Most of the imports entered India through the eastern border. The recent depreciation of the rupee has also had minimal impact on the oil imports, according to the report.
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