With effect for the 2023–24 fiscal year, the Union Commerce Ministry has discontinued duty-free imports of soyabean oil under the tariff rate quota (TRQ) regime. Sunflower oil imports, however, will continue to be duty-free under the TRQ system. According to the notification, imports of soyabean oil are still permitted under the TRQ till June 30. The TRQ permitting duty-free imports of soybean and sunflower oil till March 2024 was announced by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade on May 24th of last year.
The Center made the decision to allow 20 lakh tonnes of both soft oils for the current fiscal year and the following. The action was made in an effort to curb inflation and rein in domestic market prices for edible oil, which were out of control. Given that the price of edible oil has decreased globally and Indian soyabean farmers are retaining a large amount of stock, the Centre has now banned duty-free imports of soyabean oil under the TRQ regime.
This is a measure against any unfavorable reactions to the extension of the Indian government’s ban on the trading of soybean derivatives and their products. The Solvent Extractors Association of India reports a 30% annual reduction in palm group oil prices, compared to a 10% decline in soybean oil prices. There has been a 7% decline in sunflower oil prices.