Business

Avoid oil imports from Malaysia: trade body

In the first nine months of 2019, India was the biggest buyer of Malaysian palm oil, at 3.9 million tonnes.

In the first nine months of 2019, India was the biggest buyer of Malaysian palm oil, at 3.9 million tonnes.  

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Advisory follows its PM’s J&K remarks

In line with the Union Government’s strong objections to Malaysia’s “unprovoked” remarks and criticism on India’s move to abrogate Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, India’s apex oil trade body Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) on Monday advised all its members to avoid imports from the southeast Asian nation amid prevailing tensions between the two countries.

The association issued a short advisory asking its members, including importer-crushers and processors, to avoid importing palm oil from Malaysia till clarity emerges.

“Our government has not taken kindly to the unprovoked pronouncements by the Malaysian Prime Minister and is contemplating some retaliatory action. It would be in fitness of things, as a responsible Indian vegetable oil industry, we avoid purchasing of palm oil from Malaysia till such time clarity on the way forward emerges from the Indian government.”

Palm oil imports

India’s total annual palm oil import is approximately 9 million tonne out of which around 3-3.5 million tonne is imported from Malaysia and rest from Indonesia, another major palm oil producing country.

Palm oil accounts for almost two-thirds of the country’s total edible oil imports.

In the first nine months of 2019, India was the biggest buyer of Malaysian palm oil, taking 3.9 million tonnes, as per the industry data.

“In your own interest as well as a mark of solidarity with our nation, we should avoid purchases from Malaysia for the time being. We trust [you] would heed our advice,” Atul Chaturvedi, president, SEA stated in the advisory.

The row was triggered when speaking at the 74th session of the UNGA, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Bin Mohamad had reportedly remarked that Jammu and Kashmir “has been invaded and occupied,” a statement that angered the Union government.

Subsequently, government sources hinted at looking for ways to limit palm oil imports and placing restrictions on other goods being shipped from the country.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industries held several meetings to discuss ways to introduce restrictions.

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Printable version | Nov 22, 2019 8:21:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/avoid-oil-imports-from-malaysia-trade-body/article29760672.ece

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