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Commodity Tips, Veg oil imports jump 25% in January ahead of duty hike in Budget 2018

The probability of a duty hike and an empty edible oil pipeline at ports led to a sharp increase in imports in January

India’s vegetable oil imports in January increased by 25 percent, against a 10 percent fall in December and a marginal increase in November.
The steep rise was seen ahead of an import duty hike announced in the Budget presented on February 1.
According to data released on Thursday by the Solvent Extractors’ Association (SEA), imports in January stood at 1.29 million tonnes (mt) compared to 1.03 mt in the corresponding period a year earlier. Overall imports during November to January were up by 6 percent.
In the Budget, the import duty was raised on several vegetable oils. Additionally, a 10 percent social welfare surcharge was levied on all imported goods, including edible oil, which resulted in a further 1-3 percentage point increase in the import duty. According to SEA Executive Director B V Mehta, this will provide a cushion to domestic refiners.
The probability of a duty hike and an empty edible oil pipeline at ports led to a sharp increase in imports in January. According to SEA data, the pipeline stock of vegetable oil in the beginning of January was 1.3 mt, the lowest since April 2017, while the port stock stood at 2.17 mt, the lowest since June 2017.
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