MUMBAI: India has issued import licences for 1.1 million tonnes of refined palm olein from Indonesia, government and trade sources told Reuters.
The move has surprised the industry as only last month New Delhi had restricted imports of the commodity.
A resumption in refined palm olein buying by India, the world’s biggest palm oil importer, could lift its total palm oil imports and support Malaysian palm oil futures FCPOc3, which have corrected a fifth from a three-year high hit in January.
India put refined palm oil and palm olein on the list of restricted items on Jan 8, a move sources said was retaliation against top supplier Malaysia after its criticism of actions in Kashmir and a new citizenship law.
The move prompted traders to seek permission from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) to import refined palm olein, and the commerce ministry’s wing received more than 100 applications for licences.
The DGFT has issued import licences for 1.1 million tonnes of refined palm olein to traders, based on their applications, a government official and three traders told Reuters.
New Delhi has given permission to import refined palm olein only from Indonesia, a government official said.
India’s edible oil industry has been seeking import curbs on refined palm oil to boost local refining.