New Delhi: Vegetable oils import rose by 23 percent during March at 8.96 lakh tonnes on account of rising domestic demand, according to industry data.
"Import of vegetable oils during March 2013 is reported at 8,96,714 tonnes compared to 7,27,706 tonnes in March 2012," Solvent Extractors' Association said in a statement.
During November 2012 to March 2013 period, the import is up by 22 percent to 46,31,977 tonnes compared to 37,89,629 tonnes. The share of refined oil in total import is 14 percent, while crude oil share is 86 percent.
In the first five months of 2012-13 oil year, palm oil import increased to 38,12,097 tonnes compared to 29,46,736 tonnes in the year-ago period. However, soft oils import reduced to 6,85,339 tonnes from 7,59,003 tonnes last year.
Stock of edible oils as on April 1, 2013 at various ports is estimated at 8.5 lakh tonnes and about 12.5 lakh tonnes in pipelines due to excessive import during last 4 months.
Total stocks has touched to 21 lakh tonnes, which is nearly 45 days consumption requirement by the country against usual stock of 30 days.
India imported record over 10 million tonnes of vegetable oils in 2011-12 oil year (November-October).
The country imports palm oil from Indonesia and Malaysia, while soyabean oil comes form Argentina and Brazil. At present, there is 2.5 percent duty on crude edible oil and 7.5 percent in the refined oil.
Industry has been demanding an increase in the import duty of both crude and refined edible oil to protect the interest of domestic oil processors.
First Published: Friday, April 12, 2013, 16:14