Import duties are now changing and shifting and amidst this shift the import duty on RBD palmolein/palm oil from Malaysia ie. imported under India Malaysia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement has recently increased by 5% to 50 % for a period of 180 days.
A higher import of refined palm oil from Malaysia in the last eight months was the prime reason for the hike in import duty imposed by the government on Malaysian refined palm oil.
Earlier this year, the import duty on refined palm oil from Malaysia was kept lower at 45 per cent compared to that of 50 per cent from Indonesia.
During the first nine months (i.e., between November 2018 and July 2019) of current oil year, total edible oil imports increased by 3.3 per cent to 10.8 million tonne due to a sharp rise of about 40 per cent in refined edible oil imports. This was primarily on account of the lower import duty rate of refined palm oil imported from Malaysia that prompted higher imports. Crude edible oil imports declined by 2.7 per cent to 8.7 million tonne between November 2018 and July 2019.
Also, the low duty differential of five per cent for Malaysia between crude and refined palm oil compared to the duty differential of 10 per cent for Indonesia resulted in higher refined palm oil imports from Malaysia, and thus, the share of refined edible oil imports in total edible oil imports increased to 19.3 per cent between November 2018 and July 2019 from 14.3 per cent in the corresponding period a year ago.