NEW DELHI : The government may shortly begin discussions with Russia to secure concessions on sunflower oil imports as domestic retail prices of edible oil continue to climb amid accelerating inflation, people aware of the matter said.
India hopes to secure a special carveout or concessional rates for shipments after Russia limited exports of sunflower oil till August 31. Exports of sunflower oil are capped at 1.5 million tonnes till August 31, while overseas sales of sunflower seeds are also banned during this period. The country has placed a 700,000 tonne quota for sunflower meal exports.
“Talks are yet to begin and all options remain open. But the government hopes for a special arrangement on sunflower oil, which allows shipments or lower charges for exports to India,” an official said.
The Indian government had informed Russia about the need for sunflower oil before as well, but the war with Ukraine had kept Moscow preoccupied and the barrage of international trade and financial sanctions that followed brought the supply chain to a halt, officials said.
The government’s latest push to reach out to Moscow comes as domestic edible oil prices reach historic highs owing to a shortage of palm oil in Indonesia and rising overall inflation.