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NEWS ADMIN

Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani

DATE

09/04/2002

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Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani

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NULL

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HEADLINE

INDIA, INDONESIA SIGN PALM OIL TRRADE PACT
NEW DELHI, April 3 (Reuters) - India, the world's largest edible oilbuyer, on Wednesday signed an agreement with Indonesia under which NewDelhi will supply palm crushing and milling technology in exchange forpalm oil and other products.The agreement, signed during Indonesian President MegawatiSukarnoputri's visit to New Delhi, was one of nine agreements signedbetween companies of the two countries.The agreements, covering a raft of sectors including railways,pharmaceuticals, communications, information technology and hospitality,were signed after an address by the Indonesian leader to Indian industry."The value of palm crushing and oil mills to be supplied by India wouldbe set off against purchase of palm oil and palm products or any otherproduct to be identified for imports by MMTC," S.D. Kapoor, chairman ofIndia's state-run trading firm MMTC Ltd, told Reuters.Indonesia and Malaysia, the world's leading palm oil exporters, havebeen lobbying with India to boost the sale of palm oils.But India's palm oil imports have fallen since New Delhi imposed asteep import duty of 75 percent on crude palm oil (CPO) and 85 percent onrefined palm oil in its federal budget last February. The duties comparewith 45 percent for crude soyoil and 50.8 percent on refined soyoil.The two nations want New Delhi to create a level playing field bybringing palm oil duty on a par with soyoil but India has not made anycommitment.Palm oil made up 60 percent of India's total edible oil imports in2000/01 (Nov-Oct), down from 68 percent a year earlier. During the sameperiod soyoil imports rose to 31 percent from 15.3 percent.