Sage Investment Club

The Solvent Extractors’ Association (SEA) of India has expressed apprehensions over reports of India facing the impact of El Nino during the coming monsoon. In his monthly letter to SEA members on Friday, Association President, Ajay Jhunjhunwala, said India has had three successive seasons of good monsoon. This had helped domestic agriculture and given a boost to the export of agri commodities such as wheat, rice, oilseeds, sugar, oilmeals and other commodities. The right climatic conditions are the backbone of the agricultural economy, he said, adding that the report suggesting India may face El Nino during the coming South-West monsoon was a cause of worry. Climate scientists and meteorological agencies the world over say El Nino could exacerbate the impact of climate change and cause the planet’s temperature to briefly cross the 1.5 degree Celsius warming threshold. He said with El Nino likely set to return this year, an already warming earth and ocean surface due to global climate changes, could see unprecedented and extreme weather events. He said Indian meteorologists were of the view that it was too early to predict the actual impact of El Nino on the rainy season. Only some models predicted an El Nino during the approaching monsoon season. It is too early to hazard a guess because the long duration forecast of the El Nino is less accurate, he said. “Let us keep our fingers crossed and pray to Lord Indra for a bountiful monsoon in the coming season,” he said.
Edible oil imports
He said the SEA had consistently represented to the Government on skyrocketing edible oil imports, which were compromising the country’s edible oil security.The association’s expectations for an announcement on launch of the National Mission on Edible Oils, in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of atmanirbharta, were disappointed in the Union Budget, which was silent on that front, he said. The sharp increase in import of RBD palmolein during the first three months of the oil year (November-October) 2022-23 at 6.30 lakh tonnes (lt) was nearly 20 per cent of total imports. This was depriving the domestic industry of capacity utilisation. The palm refining industry was suffering from very low capacity utilisation due to excessive import of RBD palmolein, he said, urging the Government to increase the duty difference between crude palm oil (CPO) and refined palmolein/ palm oil to at least 15 per cent from the current 7.5 per cent. This could be done by increasing the RBD palmolein duty from 12.5 per cent to 20 per cent without any change in CPO duty, he said. Jhunjhunwala said oilmeals exports had gone up by 70 per cent in the first 10 months of the financial year 2022-23, compared to the same period last year. Total oilmeal exports are expected to touch 40 lt valued at over ₹10,000 crore during 2022-23, he added.SHARE
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