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 Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani
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 Dow Jones
 Edible Oil Prices Mixed On Import Duty Cut

20/4/07 MUMBAI (Dow Jones)--Indian edible oil prices were mixed in the week to Friday over fears of a rise in imports after the government's decision to cut import duty on crude palm oil.

Last week, India reduced the import duty on crude palm oil by 10 percentage points to 50%. The import duty on refined palm oils was reduced to 57.5% from 67.5% to reign in spiraling inflation.

Some slowdown in demand from retailers because of fewer big festivals in the coming months also kept sentiment down in spot markets, traders said.

In India edible oils are consumed in large quantities in big community feasts usually held during marriages.

However, demand has been subdued for most of 2007 because of a steep rise in prices.

The country imports around 2 million-2.5 million metric tons of palm oils every year, mostly from Malaysia and Indonesia, to meet domestic demand as local oilseed production meets only half of India's annual edible oil demand.

In the year to October 2007, India's domestic oilseed output is estimated to fall by 6.3% to 22.7 million tons because of unfavorable weather at the time of sowing, causing a shift to other crops such as wheat and pulses.

The government has been trying to keep local prices in check and removed the 4% additional import duty on edible oils in February.

On Jan. 24, it cut the import duty on crude palm oil to 60% from 70%, and on refined, bleached and deodorized palm olein to 67.5% from 80%.

Friday, local groundnut oil prices were at 66,000 rupees a metric ton, down from INR66,500/ton a week earlier.

Crude palm oil was down on the week at INR41,600/ton from INR42,700/ton.

Refined, bleached and deodorized palm olein was at INR46,000/ton, unchanged from a week earlier.

Refined soyoil prices were at INR46,500/ton, up from INR46,100/ton, a week earlier.

Crude soyoil prices were also up on the week at INR44,200/ton from INR43,800/ton.

Malaysian Palm Oil Board ( MPOB ) Lot 6, SS6, Jalan Perbandaran, 47301 Kelana Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, MALAYSIA.
Tel : 603 - 7802 2800 || Fax : 603 - 7803 3533