The country's imports of vegetable oils may be more than 6 lakh tonnes this month, an industry expert said on Thursday.
"We hope the imports will be be over 6 lakh tonnes in March," Adani Wilmer CEO Atul Chaturvedi told reporters in New Delhi on the sidelines of a function here.
India, the largest buyer of vegetable oils after China, imported 7.62 lakh tonnes of vegetable oils in February 2009 as decline in prices of oils in global markets triggered demand, Mumbai-based Solvent Extractors' Association said.
The country had imported 5.15 lakh tonnes of vegetable oils in the year-ago period.
On speculation of zero duty on imports of crude soyabean oil, he said, "We expect duty should go as current policy is skewed in favour of crude palm oil, which attracts zero customs duty, while import duty on crude soyabean and sunflower oil is 20 per cent.
Chaturvedi also said if duty on crude soyabean oil is brought down to zero level, retail prices of the oil may decline by 10-15 per cent.
At present, Adani Group's Fortune soyabean oil, which is the largest selling brand, is being sold at Rs 53-54 a litre in the retail market in the national capital.