New Delhi: India's vegetable oil imports surged by 17 percent crossing 10 million tonnes mark in the 2011-12 marketing year that ended last month on strong domestic demand, industry body SEA said on Thursday.
The country had imported a total of 8.7 million tonnes of vegetable oil comprising both edible and non-edible oils in the 2010-11 marketing year (November-October), it said.
"Local consumption increased by upto 8,00,000 tonnes due to a rise in per capita consumption and population growth. Lower price of vegetable oils also boosted consumption during the year," Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEA) said.
That apart, the vegetable oil imports, especially refined palm oil got a boost due to the inverted export duty structure by Indonesia and the excessive stock in Malaysia, it noted.
Out of 10.19 million tonnes of vegetable oil imported in 2011-12, edible oil comprised of 9.98 million tonnes and non-edible oil stood at 2,11,000 tonnes.
Palm oil imports increased to 7.66 million tonnes in the 2011-12 marketing year from 6.54 million tonnes in the year-ago period.
Among other oils, import of soyabean oil stood at 1.07 million tonnes, sunflower oil at 1.13 million tonnes and rapemustard oil at 91,000 tonnes in 2011-12, the data showed.
The overall consumption increased by about 12,50,000 tonnes, leading to higher import during the year.
However, the domestic production of vegetable oil remained down by about 7,00,000 tonnes due to lower oilseeds production in the last year.
India imports palm oil from Indonesia and Malaysia and soybean oil from Brazil and Argentina.
The country imports about 50 percent of the domestic demand. There is zero duty on crude edible oils and 7.5 percent on refined edible oils.