India Annually imports about 15 Million tonnes of edible oil, which includes more than 9 Million tonnes of palm oil and 2.5 Million tonnes of Soy oil and Sunflower oil each. India imports palm oil from Indonesia and Malaysia and for other oils India imports them from Argentina, Brazil, Ukraine, Russia.
Other than Crude oil, India also heavily depends on Edible oil imports too. India doesn’t even produce half of its edible oil requirements. Mainly due to Factors like Rainfed conditions, costly seeds, small farm holdings, low productivity. At the current consumption of 19 kg per per per year, India needs 25 Million tonnes of edible oils to meet its requirements. Of the total requirement of 25 million tonnes, 10.5 million tonnes are produced domestically and the remaining 60% is met through imports.
While mustard, groundnuts, cottonseed, and sunflower have the potential to increase oil output to some extent, but the real potential lies in Oil palm. India has 2 Million hectares that is suitable for oil palm cultivation and can yield 8 mt of palm oil.
The government intends to increase production from 30.88 to 47.80 million tonnes of oilseeds that will produce 7.00 to 11.00 million tonnes of edible oils from primary sources by FY25. Also, it is expected that edible oils from secondary sources will be doubled from 3.5 to 7 million tonnes. Meanwhile, at present, crude palm oil is freely importable while refined palm oil and palm olein have been put under the ‘Restricted’ category for imports since 8 January 2020. The restriction is applicable to imports from all countries.