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KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- India’s refiners are seen to be favouring palm oil imports from Malaysia, as they seem to have been put off by the heavy export tax and levy imposed by Indonesia.
The Solvent Extractors’ Association of India executive director Dr B. V. Mehta said between January and June 2021, the country imported 1.75 million tonnes of Malaysian palm oil compared to 1.72 million tonnes imported from Indonesia.
"Malaysia has an added advantage over Indonesia, based on the current scenario,” he said during his presentation on ‘Palm Oil Market in India - Challenges and Opportunities’ at the World Palm Virtual Expo and Conference 2021, which entered its second day today.
According to recent reports, Indonesia imposed higher levies on crude palm oil exports in December to raise funds for its ambitious palm-based biodiesel programme, aimed at maximising domestic use of the edible oil.
Mehta said palm oil accounts for approximately 40% of India’s edible oil consumption, mainly used in the hotels, restaurants and catering segment, followed by soybean oil, mustard oil and sunflower oil.
"In India, palm oil is still perceived as cheap oil for the lower income households, compared to the middle and upper-income households,” he said.
Therefore, he suggested for both Malaysia and Indonesia to hold a campaign in India to change the people’s mindset which would likely lead to higher demand for palm oil imports into the country.