Dinesh Shahra, Managing Director and CEO, Ruchi Soya Industries Limited welcomed the recently announced increase in import duty on crude and refined edible oils, terming it a transformation step by the Government.
In a notification issued on November 17, 2017, the government increased import duties on various edible oils ranging between 60 to even 100 percent on some oils like crude palm oil.
Shahra said the earlier marginal increase did not have the desired benefits for farmers and edible oil producers. The significant increase announced now augurs well for the future of the Indian edible oil industry, including farmers and other stakeholders.
"Our soyabean crushing operations, which have been showing a slow uptrend, should receive a major boost with the increase in import duty on crude edible oil. We have the largest crushing capacity in India with 3.72 million MT capacities across 10 locations, and after this increase, the capacity utilization should increase further to good levels. In addition, we are also expecting the crush margins to improve as well the domestic oil seed production to go up as it would be more commercially attractive for farmers," he added.
Shahra further said he expects this to positively impact refining operations; especially palm oil refining and expect the refining margins to increase. The previous increase in import duty had already resulted in a significant increase in refining volumes to the tune of 40 to 50 percent due to a shift from import of RBD palmolein (Refined bleached deodorised palmolein) which does not require further processing to CPO (Crude palm oil) which needs to undergo processing and refining at our facilities.
"Post the current increase; we see a further increase in capacity utilisation of the processing and refining facilities. The increase in import duty on soybean will come as a major support to the farmers who can now look forward to attractive remuneration for their produce. This will encourage them to sow more soya bean in the future and will go a long way in making India self-reliant in edible oils," he said.