Source: United Soybean Board
Source: United Soybean Board

The government of India will allow duty-free imports of 2M tonnes of both crude soyabean oil and crude sunflower oil for the current and next fiscal year to March 2024 in a bid to control local prices, Reuters reported.

Prior to the announcement on 24 May, trade and government officials had said India could cut an import tax on crude soyabean oil and crude sunflower oil.

Traders now need to seek their import quota from the government, according to the 24 May report.

India, the world’s top importer of edible oils, had previously abolished the basic import tax on crude palm oil, crude soyabean oil and crude sunflower oil, but continued with a 5% tax known as the Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess (AIDC) on the three grades of edible oils, Reuters wrote.

Industry body the Solvent Extractors' Association of India had requested the government to also consider cutting or abolishing the 5% AIDC on crude palm oil, the report said.

India, which imports more than two-thirds of its edible oil needs, has been struggling to control local edible oil rates in recent months, according to the report, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has made it even more difficult for the government to contain vegetable oil prices.