The Soybean Processors Association of India (SOPA) is urging India to build a buffer stock of edible oils equal to 10% of the country’s demand, according to a Krishi Jagran report on 6 March.

During times of supply shortage, the reserve stocks could be released into the Indian market, SOPA said, helping the government to lower prices.

India is the world’s largest importer of edible oils and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will lead to a shortfall in the country of around 200,000 tonnes/month (2 lakh tonnes) of sunflower oil imports, according to the association.

The shortage could be maintained by increasing soyabean and palm oil imports, SOPA said.

“The all-time high mustard crop will somewhat balance the shortfall in sunflower oil in the next six months,” SOPAK executive director DN Pathak said. “The additional 4M tonnes (40 lakh tonnes) of the mustard crop would give roughly 1.5M tonnes (15 lakh tonnes) of additional mustard oil.”

SOPA has proposed working with Argentina and Indonesia to cut down export taxes on soyabean oil and palm oil to reduce edible oil prices, according to the report.

“The government should strictly implement storage control orders on soyabeans and mustard to make sure that the oilseeds are available for crushing rather than being cornered by stockists and traders for hoarding and profiteering,” Pathak added.