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CCC feels India needs to increase Canola imports owing to low import tariff

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2015-12-09  Views: 10
Core Tip: Canola Council of Canada (CCC) is of the view that India needs to look to increasingly import Canola because it levies a mere 12 per cent import oil tariff compared to refined oil’s 20 per cent.
Canola Council of Canada (CCC) is of the view that India needs to look to increasingly import Canola because it levies a mere 12 per cent import oil tariff compared to refined oil’s 20 per cent.

India produces 17.5 million tonne of vegetable oil. There is huge shortfall of edible oil. This leads the country to import 11 million tonne, which accounts for 60 per cent sourcing of edible oils from global markets to meet the domestic consumption needs. Now palm oil constitutes the largest share of imports and Canola’s share is a miniscule 2 per cent.

“Going by import tariff of refined oil, which is 20 per cent in India, we are of the view that this country must now look to import Canola which is by far a healthy oil and with less tariff of a mere 12 per cent,” Bruce Jowett, vice-president, market development, Canola Council of Canada, told FnB News.

Jowett was in Bengaluru recently to assess the market opportunity for Canola which has been backed by scientific studies proving to keep cardiovascular diseases and diabetes at bay.

“While there is a positive response towards Canola in Delhi and Mumbai, we are looking at south India to convert consumers to opt for this healthy oil which can be used for variety of cooking uses. The high smoke point of Canola at 240 degree centigrade is a big benefit in the Indian kitchens. This heat tolerance of Canola oil is the highest among all commonly used cooking oils in India. Besides Canola’s neutral taste and light texture, makes it a versatile medium for stir-frying, deep-frying, baking, sautéing and grilling,” he added.

In fact, Canola oil is the third most used vegetable oil after palm oil and soybean in the world today. With increasing importance to health factors being given in India, CCC is now engaged in market development to promote Canola as a premium healthy oil. It engaged Ipsos Research to gauge the consumer insights in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru in 2014. This survey on 1,770 consumers revealed that 12 per cent of them were aware of Canola.

Although Canola per litre is priced between Rs 120 and Rs 240 per litre compared to the local vegetable oil versions priced around Rs 80 per litre, CCC sees that the increase in spending power and better standard of living would help consumers in middle-class homes to shift their oil consumption in India to Canola.

Between January and August 2015, CCC sees that India imported 6,000 metric tonne of Canola as against 1,200 tonne in 2014. Globally, the US is the largest importer of Canola followed by China, Japan and Mexico. In the developing world, India, Taiwan and South Korea have indicated a positive response, according to Jowett.

“Going forward, we work to advocate use of Canola, which is low in saturated fat with specific communities. These include culinary chefs who could highlight the versatile attributes of Canola. It would work with dieticians and doctors to recommend patients to shift to Canola to control lifestyle diseases,” he said.

CCC sees canola as an affordable option when benchmarked against olive oil that is four times more expensive. The Canola brand imports in India are Wesson, Crisco, Mazola, Canola Harvest, besides Candrop, Hatsun, Givo and Almo.
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