New Delhi: India's cooking oil imports rose about 10 per cent to 15.57 million tonne (MT) in 2017-18 on higher palm oil shipments, industry body Solvent Extractors Association (SEA) said today.
The world's largest vegetable oil buyer had imported 14.21 MT during 2016-17 financial year, it said.
According to SEA data, while the import of edible oils stood at 15.1 MT in 2017-18, non-edible oils took a share of 3,92,115 tonne.
Over 60 per cent of the total cooking oil imports comprises palm oils, whose inbound shipment has grown after Malaysia withdrew the export duty.
However, the government has tried to curb import of palm oils by raising in March customs duty on crude palm oil (CPO) to 44 per cent from 30 per cent and RBD palm oils to 54 per cent from 40 per cent to protect domestic growers.
"This increase in duty is a welcome step. Yet, the government has missed the opportunity to provide a 20 per cent duty difference between crude and refined oils as requested by the Association to encourage domestic refining industry and promote 'Make in India," SEA said.
As on April 1, total edible oils stock at ports and in pipelines is estimated at 2.11 MT, higher than the monthly requirement of 1.9 MT.
India imports palm oil mainly from Indonesia and Malaysia, and a small quantity of crude soft oil, including soyabean oil from Latin America. Sunflower oil is imported from Ukraine and Russia.