Arrival of Palm oil Ship \"Oil Ambassador\" at Cochin Port with palm oil from Indonesia / File Photo: UNI
Mumbai: The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has extended the ban on palm oil imports through Kerala sea ports. The ban was in in place till December 31 and will continue until further orders. DGFT has also decided to extend the import duty waiver on refined palm oil and pamolein oil.
It was in 2007 that import of palm oil through Kerala sea ports was banned. The move was aimed at protecting the interest of coconut farmers in the state. The quantity of import was around 70,000 to 80,000 tonnes then. The ban curbed the import of palm oil from countries like Malaysia and Indonesia to the state.
Meanwhile, the present extension is based on the requests raised by Coconut Development Board and various farmer unions in the state. The yearly consumption of coconut oil (in the form of food items) in the state is around 3 lakh tonnes. According to coconut farmers, if the import of bulk quantity of palm oil is allowed, then it will reduce the demand for coconut oil. This in turn will make them devoid of fortunes from copra and coconut.
However, there is no ban on supply of palm oil through roadways. At present, oil imported through sea ports of nearby states are reaching the state.