NEW DELHI, Jan 20 — The Solvent Extractors’ Association (SEA) of India said it has not received any reports of refined palm oil cargoes from Malaysia being held up at India’s ports due to customs clearance.
SEA is a trade body representing India’s vegetable oil importers.
“We have not received any information from our members that their cargoes are being held up,” said SEA executive director, B.V. Mehta to Bernama.
Earlier on, news agency Reuters, citing anonymous sources, reported that thousands of tonnes of refined palm oil were stuck at various Indian ports as the government had placed imports of RBD palmolein on the “restricted” list of goods early this month.
“Normally our members would inform us and seek help if they have problems with customs’ clearance,” Mehta said.
On January 8, India, the world’s largest importer of edible oil, had imposed curbs on refined palm oil of any origin to help domestic refiners.
Importers now need special government permission to acquire refined palm oil products.
Mehta said he was not aware of if the government has issued any licence since the restrictions were imposed.
“There is no problem with crude palm oil. As for RBD palmolein, if the bill of lading was issued before the government order, the cargo should be cleared,” he said.
Media reports citing unnamed officials have suggested that the Indian government was upset with Malaysia over its Kashmir stance and has restricted palm oil imports from the country in protest.
However, India’s Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said last week that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government had neither put any curbs on imports from Malaysia nor was it considering such a move. — Bernama