India has opened up the exports of edible oils in bulk quantity in what the Hindu Business Line has described as a “major policy shift” by the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Export of edible oils – such as groundnut, soyabean, sesame and maize oil – had been allowed only in branded consumer packages up to 5kg in weight.
The new ruling was given in the aftermath of a projected record-breaking oilseed output of 33.6M tonnes in 2016/17, up 32.8% from 25.3M tonnes in the previous year, Hindu Business Line wrote.
Additionally, Indian exporters were reported to be expecting China to emerge as a major importer of Indian groundnut oil.
“The decision … will boost overall edible oil exports and improve the utilisation of domestic oil millers,” Atul Chaturvedi, president of the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA), told the newspaper, adding that the industry welcomed the move.
According to Chaturvedi, the ruling would encourage bulk exports of groundnut oil to China and Europe, among others, and would give an advantage to India’s non-GMO soyabean in the international market.
SEA believed that India’s edible oil shipments had previously peaked at 40,000-50,000 tonnes “a few years ago”.
Projections from the US Department of Agriculture expect Indian peanut production to reach 6.3M tonnes and soyabean production to rise to 11.5M tonnes by the end of March 2016.