India’s industry body urges govt to allow bulk export of mustard oil

India’s edible oil industry has reiterated its demand for allowing bulk exports of mustard oil from India as the country expected to harvest the biggest ever crop of mustard this year.

As per the second advance estimate put out by the Central Government, rapeseed-mustard output is likely to be 83.97 lakh tonnes, up by about 12 per cent over the 75 lakh tonnes projected in the second advance estimate last year.

“The Government has allowed exports of all edible oils in bulk except mustard oil. In view of the bumper mustard crop its oil should be allowed to be exported in Bulk as that would help in stabilising prices,” the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) said.

Last March, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, had opened export of all varieties of edible oils except mustard oil. “Mustard oil continued to be exported in consumer packs of upto 5 kg, with a minimum export price (MEP) of $900 per tonne.

It should be recalled that last year, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had approved the proposal of Ministry of Commerce & Industry for removal of prohibition on export of all varieties of edible oils except mustard oil.

In the last week of February, SEA and Mustard Oil Processors Association (MOPA) jointly conducted a Rape-Mustard survey and provisionally estimated output of 85 lakh tonnes for the current season, 19 per cent higher than last year.

According to information available we are likely to harvest the biggest ever crop of Mustard in our country,” SEA said.

At present, only certain edible oils can be exported in bulk and other oils only in consumer packs upto 5 Kg with MEP. In order to support growing production of oilseeds and to explore additional avenues for marketing of edible oils, it is required to allow bulk export of all edible oils with the exception of mustard oil, which is an item of mass consumption in India.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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