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India raises import tax on crude, refined soft oils

Reuters  |  MUMBAI 

By Rajendra Jadhav

(Reuters) - on Thursday raised import tax on crude and refined soyoil, and to the highest level in more than a decade, as the world's biggest tried to support local farmers.

The hike will make competitive in the Indian market and reduce the flow of soft oils like sunflower and canola in coming months, boosting local producers.

relies on imports for 70 percent of its edible oil consumption, up from 44 percent in 2001/02.

raised import tax on crude soyoil to 35 percent from 30 percent, and on and to 35 percent from 25 percent.

Import duty on refined soyoil, and was raised to 45 percent from 35 percent.

"Imports of will rise in coming months. Palm was losing market share due to higher duty. Now there is a level playing field," said Sandeep Bajoria, of the Sunvin Group, a Mumbai-based

In March, raised its import tax on to 44 percent from 30 percent and lifted the tax on to 54 percent from 40 percent.

It kept the duty on soft oils unchanged, however, making them more competitive in the local market.

The country's in May plunged 38 percent from a year earlier to their lowest in nearly 4-1/2 years as imports of soyoil and sunflower oil jumped, a trade body said on Thursday.

After the duty hike, India's sunflower oil and could moderate, while soyoil imports remain largely unchanged, Bajoria said.

The country buys palm oil from and Malaysia; and soyoil mainly from and Brazil, while it purchases sunflower oil from

"This was badly needed for palm oil. Export of both and fell in last two months," a Kuala said.

Malaysia's in May dropped 8.8 percent from April to around 1.2 million tonnes, independent inspection company AmSpec Agri said.

Weak exports pulled Malaysian to the lowest level in more than 22-months on Wednesday.

Palm are likely to rebound in coming days as exports would start picking up from July onwards, the Kuala said.

(Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, June 14 2018. 20:13 IST