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Nine years after ban, govt allows export of edible oil in bulk

Dilip Kumar Jha/Mumbai 28 Mar 17 | 01:41 AM

In a notification issued on Monday, the office of the Director General of Foreign Trade, said, “Exports of groundnut oil, sesame oil, soybean oil and maize (corn) oil in bulk, irrespective of any pack size, has been exempted from the prohibition on export of edible oil."

This means a nine-year ban on their export has been lifted.

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Until now, export of select edible oils were allowed only in consumer packs of up to five kg each.

This should mean better realisation for producers, improving their capability to pay more for oilseed. This could encourage more sowing by farmers.

India currently meets around 60 per cent of its edible oil demand of 24 million tonnes (mt) a  year through import.

“It is a welcome move, as importing countries would be able to procure non-genetically modified (non-GM) oil from India.

The world is a big market for non-GM food. Hence, India would have a good opportunity overseas," said Atul Chaturvedi, chief executive, Adani Wilmar, producer of the Fortune brand.

Export of edible oil was initially prohibited for a year with effect from March 17, 2008, and extended from time to time. In October 2012, the prohibition was extended till further orders.

India estimates bumper oilseed output this year. The groundnut season seems to have got over but other oils, including sesame and soybean, would offer an opportunity for exporters.

“Before the ban, India was exporting up to 100,000 tonnes of groundnut oil. Opening the export opportunity would definitely help. We will start getting the benefit immediately," said Sanjiv Sawla, chairman, Indian Oilseeds and Produce Exporters Promotion Council.

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