14 July 1998
India slashes edible oils import duty

INDIA has lowered the import duty on most edible oils to 15% in a bid to control runaway prices of coconut oil.

It has also asked the state trading corporation to import 150,000 tonnes of palm oil from Indonesia and Malaysia.

Groundnut oil prices have increased by about 46% since January and rapeseed, soyabean and palm oil by 30%-45%. The Central Organisation of Oil Industry Trade blames a shortfall in supplies. It says a further rise in demand for oils is possible in September when the festive season begins.

The lowering of import duties comes hard on the heels of a 2% decline in the Indian oil seeds crop in 1997-98 to 24.48m tonnes.

  • Financial Times 14/07/98 page 28