India keeps edible oil import duty lower until March 2025, imposes 50% export tax on molasses

India keeps edible oil import duty lower until March 2025, imposes 50% export tax on molasses

The Indian government on Tuesday extended lower import duty on edible oil by a year, till March 2025. The lower import duty structure on crude palm oil, crude sunflower oil, and crude soy oil was originally set to expire in March, this year.India is the world’s biggest importer of vegetable oil. The basic import duty on refined soyabean oil and sunflower oil was cut to 12.5% from 17.5%, in June last year. India imports palm oil mainly from Indonesia and Malaysia, and a small quantity of crude soft oil, including soybean from Argentina. Sunflower oil is imported from Ukraine and Russia.”The decision was expected as the government is keen to keep prices in check ahead of elections,” Sandeep Bajoria, CEO of Sunvin Group, a vegetable oil brokerage told news agency Reuters. “The notification is not changing the current duty structure. So, there won’t be any impact on local prices or import patterns,” Bajoria said.The government also imposed a 50% duty on exports of molasses, a by-product of sugarcane used as raw material for alcohol production, with effect from January 18. A finance ministry notification said molasses resulting from the extraction or refining of sugar will attract a 50% export duty.According to industry data issued on Friday, India’s edible oil imports fell 16 per cent on an annual basis in December to 13.07 lakh tonnes as a result of decreased shipments of crude and refined palm oils. According to data from the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA), edible oil imports decreased from 15,55,780 tonnes in December of the previous year to 13,07,686 tonnes.Within the edible oil category, imports of crude palm oil fell to 6,20,020 tonnes from 8,43,849 tonnes, while inbound shipments of RBD Palmolein (Refined Bleached Deodorised) dipped slightly to 2,51,667 tonnes from 2,56,398 tonnes.

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