India’s move to cut palm oil import duty positive


On Oct 13, CPO prices hit a record high with three-month futures prices closing at RM5,015 per tonne, boosted by the import duty cut by India to a record-low level since 2015, said UOB Kay Hian Research

KUALA LUMPUR: India’s decision to cut import duty on palm oil is positive for Malaysian upstream plantation companies, integrated palm oil players as well as Indian customers as it would boost demand for crude palm oil (CPO) in India.

The reduction of import duty would be supportive to the palm oil market as India is the largest export market for palm oil.

The effective import duty on CPO will fall from 24.75% to 8.25%, while the effective import duty on refined grades of palm oil would fall from 35.75% to 19.25%.

CGS-CIMB Research said there were talks in the past few days that India’s government was potentially cutting the import duties on edible oils to make them cheaper for the upcoming festive season and to mitigate the high food inflation in the country.

The research house estimated that the 16.5% point cut in import duty, could lower CPO price in India by US$186 (RM775) per tonne.

“This will boost demand for CPO in India, which is positive for upstream planters and refiners, neutral for Indian refiners and negative for Indian farmers,” it said.

Meanwhile, CGS-CIMB Research pointed out that the 11% point import duty gap between CPO and refined palm oil is maintained to provide local Indian refiners a margin advantage to compete against Indonesia palm oil refiners.

“The revised import duties put crude palm oil at a disadvantage against sunflower oil and soybean oil as the import duty on CPO of 8.25% is higher than that of crude soybean oil and crude sunflower oil of 5.5%.

“We view the decision to cut the import duties on edible oils as negative for Indian farmers due to the more intense competition from imported edible oils and neutral for Indian palm oil refiner,” it noted.

On Oct 13, CPO prices hit a record high with three-month futures prices closing at RM5,015 per tonne, boosted by the import duty cut by India to a record-low level since 2015, said UOB Kay Hian Research

The research house added that market rumours on China’s aggressive purchase over the last few days was another key reason for the surge in CPO prices. It is keeping its CPO forecast at RM3,300 and RM2,800 per tonne for 2021 and 2022 respectively, saying that there is potential upside to the prices on the back of tight global edible oil supplies while demand is still relatively stable despite high prices.

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