India to import palm oil from Bangladesh

India has issued about 70 licences for importing about five lakh tonnes of refined palm oil from three countries — Bangladesh, Nepal and Indonesia, sources said.

On January 8, the Indian government put curbs on imports of refined palm oil from Malaysia after remarks by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on India’s Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the Kashmir issue.

The remarks irked New Delhi, which decided to put palm oil on a list of restricted items, in what many believed was a retaliatory move.

India’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has now issued about 60-70 import licences to import about five lakh tonnes of refined palm oil, sources said, adding that the licences will be valid for 18 months.

During April-December period in the current financial year, India imported about 23 lakh tonnes of refined palm oil, reports our New Delhi correspondent.

India is the world’s largest importer of vegetable oils and buys nearly 15 million tonnes annually. Of this, palm oil comprises nine million tonnes while the remaining six million tonnes consist of soybean and sunflower oil.

Indonesia and Malaysia are the two countries which supply palm oil.

Malaysia produces 19 million tonnes of palm oil in a year, while Indonesia produces 43 million tonnes, as per trade data.

Officials said there is no shortage of refined palmolein or edible oils in the country.