Rise in India's edible oil imports

Friday, 30 May 2003, 07:00 Hrs
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India's imports of edible oil in the 2002-03 fiscal continued to rise, sizably pushing up the average of imports of sensitive products that are being monitored for their large impact on domestic sectors.

NEW DELHI: The total imports of sensitive items rose by 20.8 percent from 109.56 billion during 2001-02 to 132.36 billion.

Of the 300 tariff lines being monitored, the edible oil segment, mainly crude palm oil and its fractions, contributed significantly to this increase, the commerce ministry said Thursday.

Edible oil imports "have increased from 64.76 billion during 2001-02 to 84.58 billion this year. However, a significant feature of edible oil import is that while import of crude palm oil has gone up, that of refined palm oil has gone down leading to better utilisation of the processing capacity in the country," the commerce ministry stated.

Import of sunflower oil, both crude and refined, has gone down, the official statement added.

A severe drought last year, the worst in three decades, had considerably impacted oilseed production in the country, leading to a reliance on imports to bridge the gap between demand and supply.

Last year, the inflow of fruits and vegetables also increased substantially from 9.28 billion in 2001-02 to 17.09 billion, while automobile imports recorded a steep jump from 869 million to 3.21 billion, milk and milk products inflow doubled from 215.6 million to 442.2 million.

Several small-scale industry products like umbrellas and toys showed a substantial increase in imports.

On the other hand, imports of cotton and silk, alcoholic beverages, food grains and poultry have shown a decline at group level during the period, the commerce ministry date showed.

In terms of places of origin, India saw an increase in imports from countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Guinea Bissau, Czech Republic and Switzerland, while inflow of merchandise imports from Argentina, Australia, the U.S., Paraguay and Thailand showed some decrease.
Source: IANS

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