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SEA concerned over increasing dependence on edible oil import, deficient rainfall


The Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) has expressed concerns over the deficient rainfall in the country and the increasing dependence on import of edible oils.

In his monthly letter to the members of SEA of India on Wednesday, Ajay Jhunjhunwala, President of SEA, said the country is expected to import over 15 million tonnes of edible oils for the current oil year ending in October.

Stating that this is leading to India’s increased dependence on import of edible oils, he termed it as a cause of concern to all.

Also Read | Edible oil imports up by 25% in first 9 months of 2022-23 season 

He said July witnessed a surge in imports due to reduced domestic prices of edible oils. Import of crude palm oil reached 8.41 lakh tonnes (lt) and RBD palmolein 2.37 lt. The overall import of palm products spiked to 10.86 lt. While the import of soyabean oil saw a decrease, sunflower oil imports surged.

Varied rainfall pattern

Urging the members to be vigilant on the challenges posed by varied rainfall patterns, Jhunjhunwala said the current nationwide rainfall deficiency of 6 per cent raises concerns, particularly for the crucial pod formation phase. “Despite marginal fluctuations in acreage, we stand resolute in our commitment to advancing oilseed cultivation,” he said.

Mentioning that SEA’s commitment to increasing productivity continues, he said the association has now launched groundnut and paddy model farm programme in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

“Our visit to model farms in Madhya Pradesh highlighted the positive impact of these initiatives on farmers’ lives, further fuelling our resolve to empower them through technological advancements and support,” he said.

Also Read | India’s edible oil import rise 39% in June as RBD palmolein shipments zoom 

Export ban on ricebran

On the Directorate General of Foreign Trade’s decision to prohibit de-oiled ricebran export until November 30, he said SEA has expressed its concerns regarding the far-reaching negative consequences on the domestic ricebran processing and rice milling industry, and exporters of de-oiled ricebran.

The prohibition’s repercussions on ricebran extraction industry in eastern states, where export is a primary disposal route, are profound.

Stating that SEA has urged the Government to reconsider this decision, he said it has also emphasized that the ban should not extend beyond November 30 into the upcoming season.

Jhunjhunwala said SEA met a significant challenge concerning the berthing policy for edible oil at Deendayal Port Authority (Kandla) head on. Now the berth no. 7 has been exclusively reserved for edible oil, and priority allocations have been made for edible oil vessels at berth no. 2, 3, 4 and 5.

He said these strategic adjustments have alleviated congestion and ensured a steady supply chain for edible oil, mitigating potential market scarcity and unnecessary additional costs.

SEA will be commemorating its 60th year celebration on September 28, he said, adding festivities will continue with Globoil India 2023 on September 29 and 30.

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