Syllabus Section: Economy (GS Paper III)
Importance: UPSC Prelims and UPSC Mains
Why in News?
Soaring edible oil prices are likely to soften by December as international commodity futures show a declining trend.
- Average retail prices of major edible oils have risen by up to 48% over the last year.
- Reason for surging the prices is:
- Surge in global prices and
- Lower domestic production of soybean, which is India’s largest oilseed crop.
- Excessive buying of edible oil by China.
- Many major oil producers are aggressively pursuing biofuel policies and diverting edible oil crops for that purpose.
- Governmental taxes and duties
- India imports about 60% of its edible oil needs, leaving the country’s retail prices vulnerable to international pressures.
- It imports palm oil from Indonesia and Malaysia, soy oil from Brazil and Argentina, and sunflower oil, mainly from Russia and Ukraine.
- Edible oil is a fatty liquid that is physically extracted from several vegetables and also some animal tissues
- Primary sources of Edible oil (Soybean, Rapeseed & Mustard, Groundnut, Sunflower, Safflower & Niger) and secondary sources of Edible Oil (Oil palm, Coconut, Rice Bran, Cotton seeds & Tree Borne Oilseeds).
- Recently the Government announced the National Edible Oil Mission- Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) to boost domestic oil seed production and make the country self-sufficient in cooking oils.
Source: The Hindu