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Saturday, July 28, 2007

DJ Indian Edible Oil Prices Dn As Govt Cuts Import Duties

MUMBAI (Dow Jones)--Indian edible oil prices were down in the week to Friday as the government reduced import duties by 5-10 percentage points to check rising inflation.

Some signs of revival of rains in the country's main oilseed growing central and western regions after a gap of more than 10 days also kept prices down, traders said.

Monday, India reduced the import duty on palm and soy oils by five percentage points and cut the duty on refined sunflower oil by 10 percentage points.

The across-the-board cut in the import duty of all major edible oils was aimed at keeping a check on local prices of these commodities, government officials said.

"The reduction in import duties on all edible oils is meant to ensure adequate supplies ahead of the festival season, but it will only have a temporary impact as supplies will remain tight till the new crop hits the market around October," a Mumbai-based analyst said.

India's oilseed production in the crop year that ends in October is around 23 million metric tons, down 4 million tons on the year.

Latest, weather data, however, showed that rains in the week to Wednesday were estimated 30% below average at 47.7 millimeters.

July is the most important month of the monsoon season in terms of the volume of rain and crop sowing operations.

The Southwest monsoon is crucial for India's oilseed crop as large tracts of agricultural land aren't irrigated.

Friday, local groundnut oil prices were at INR74,500/ton, down from INR75,000/ton a week earlier.

Crude palm oil was at INR42,200/ton, down from INR42,500/ton from the week before.

Refined, bleached and deodorized palm olein was at INR48,000/ton, down from INR49,000/ton a week earlier.

Refined soyoil prices were at INR48,200/ton, down from INR48,500/ton a week earlier.

Crude soyoil prices were higher, at INR46,200/ton from INR46,000/ton a week earlier.

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