`Indian Importers Face Higher Duties - Olive Oil Times

Indian Importers Face Higher Duties

Jan. 15, 2015
Isabel Putinja

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The Indian gov­ern­ment has raised import duties on crude and refined edi­ble oils by 5 per­cent, to 7.5 and 15 per­cent, respec­tively. The noti­fi­ca­tion of the increase was issued last month by the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), with the stated aim to pro­tect the inter­ests of domes­tic farm­ers and oil proces­sors.

Nearly all (95 per­cent) of the olive oil imported to India is sourced from Spain and Italy, while a fur­ther 3 per­cent comes from Greece.

The higher tar­iffs along with the rise in olive oil prices fol­low­ing the poor olive har­vest in Spain and Italy, paint a dire pic­ture for importers as well as con­sumers who will be fac­ing a sig­nif­i­cantly higher retail prices.

Forecasting is tricky but our next con­sign­ment is already quoted at 18 per cent more than the last one imported two months ago,” reported Aseem Soni, a direc­tor at Cargill Foods India, which owns the Leonardo brand of olive oil, to The Hindu Business Line news­pa­per.


Concerned about the increas­ing cost of olive oil due to the dev­as­tat­ing olive har­vests in Europe, Rajneesh Bhasin, pres­i­dent of the Indian Olive Association (IOA) and man­ag­ing direc­tor of the Borges brand of olive oil, told The Hindu Business Line that olive oil should not be sub­jected to the revised import duties: We are request­ing the Centre to exempt olive oil. The ratio­nale for the duty hike was to pro­tect Indian farm­ers. That’s not rel­e­vant in the case of olive oil as there’s no local pro­duc­tion.”

The domes­tic con­sump­tion of veg­etable oils, and espe­cially olive oil is on the rise in India. Imports of veg­etable oil rose by 12 per­cent in 2013 – 2014, to a record high of 11.82 mil­lion tons.

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