India allows refined palm oil imports until Dec 2022

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A farmer prepares to unload oil palm bunches from a tractor trolley in a mill at Dwaraka Tirumala

MUMBAI (Reuters) -India on Monday allowed imports of refined palm oil until December 2022, the government said in a notification, as the world's biggest vegetable oil buyer tries to bring down edible oil prices.

The move could reduce India's crude palm oil (CPO) imports, with buyers shifting to refined palm oil as exporting countries such as Indonesia levy higher taxes on CPO shipments than refined palm oil.

The Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry issued a notification on Monday saying imports of refined palm oil would be allowed until Dec. 31, 2022.

Indian buyers could import 1.5 million tonnes of refined palm oil and 7 million tonnes of CPO in the 2021/22 marketing year that started on Nov. 1, said Sandeep Bajoria, chief executive of Sunvin Group, a vegetable oil brokerage and consultancy firm.

India fulfils more than two-thirds of edible oil demand through imports, and palm oil accounts for more than 60% of the total imports.

In June, India had allowed imports of refined palm oil for six months.

India earlier on Monday ordered a year-long suspension of futures trading in key farm commodities as New Delhi struggles to tame food inflation.

(Reporting by Rajendra JadhavEditing by Mark Potter)

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