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Edible Oil Industry in India

  • ID: 54545
  • Report
  • March 2004
  • Region: India
  • PSi Inc
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Climatic conditions in India favor growing a variety of oilseeds. On the demand side, a growing population and vastly varied dietary habits have ensured a thriving market for edible oil in the country. In fact, there is a substantial demand overhang, which is expected to continue for some years. At present, this is offset by imports that cater to almost half of the total domestic consumption. With cheap imports threatening to cripple the domestic industry, the government is walking a tightrope between filling the demand
supply gap and the political need to keep the domestic industry in good health.
Unorganized, medium and small players dominate the industry. Hence, quality remains a concern. There is need for better regulatory control to protect consumers.

An average Indian's yearly edible oil requirement has gone up from 7.0 kg in 1996-97 to 11.8 kg in 2000-01. Despite the variety of oilseeds grown in India, the country imports a substantial quantity of edible oil, which also works out cheaper. Allied factors contributing to imports are the higher cost of cultivation in India and uneconomic oil extraction systems.

Oilseeds in India account for around 5.0 percent of the Gross National Product (GNP) and 14.0 percent of the country's area under cultivation of crops. Castor, Groundnut, Linseed, Niger, Rapeseed, Mustard, Safflower, Sesame and Sunflower are some of the major oilseeds grown. India produces 10 percent of the world's oilseeds, but has a low productivity of around 850-900 kg per hectare (compared to a world average of around 1,100-1,350 kg per hectare).

The amount of oil extracted from the seed varies with the type and quality of seed. In many cases, the oil recovery rate is upwards of 30.0 percent with Sesame accounting for a high 45.0 percent.

Domestic consumption of edible oils has been growing at 4.0-5.0 percent a year. The consumption in 2001-02 was around 25.75 million tons. Non-packaged oils account for nearly 50.0 percent of consumption in both urban and rural markets. In the remaining 50.0 percent contributed by packaged oils, branded oils constitute a small portion of approximately 10.0-15.0 percent.
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