GG News Bureau
New Delhi, 11th May. After hundreds of thousands of cargoes were stuck at ports due to confusion about import restrictions, India clarified on Thursday that duty-free imports of soy oil and sunflower oil transported before March 31 will be permitted till the end of June.
Earlier this year, the world’s biggest importer of vegetable oils scrapped a duty-free import quota of 2 million tonnes of crude sunflower oil and soy oil for the fiscal year starting April 1.
But the move struck cargoes of around 90,000 tonnes at Indian ports and another 180,000 tonnes in transit that were loaded before the government deadline of March 31, dealers said.
“A few shipments that were stuck at ports for the past few weeks could now enter the country after this clarification,” said Sandeep Bajoria, CEO Sunvin Group, a vegetable oil brokerage and consultancy firm.
India mostly imports soyoil from Argentina, Brazil, and the United States, as well as sunoil from Russia and Ukraine.
The government notification would provide relief to importers, but the imports would dampen local oilseed prices and squeeze farmer income, said B.V. Mehta, executive director of Solvent Extractors’ Association of India.
India’s palm oil imports in May could fall since the clarification would increase availability of soy oil and sunflower oil, said a New-Delhi-based dealer with a global trade house.