Pakistan Reduces Duties on Palm Oil Imports

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan reduced duties on crude palm oil imports by

more than 11 per cent, to 8,000 rupees (100 rupees = RM3.98) per tonne,

as part of the 2010/11 budget, custom officials said yesterday.

“The duty cut will come into effect from today,” said Munir

Qureshi, a top Custom official at the Federal Board of Revenue.

The budget was announced on Saturday.

The Federal Bureau

of Revenue, the country’s main tax collecting agency, said on its

website that the Custom duty has been reduced to 8,000 rupees a tonne

from 9,000 rupees to cut the cost of edible oil in the domestic market.

Pakistan, the world’s fourth-largest buyer of vegetable oils, consumes

about 3 million tonnes of edible oil a year but produces only

500,000-800,000 tonnes from sunflower, rapeseed and cottonseed, relying

heavily on imports to meet about 80 per cent of demand.

It

imports a mix of refined and crude palm oil from Malaysia and

Indonesia, the world biggest producers which account for 80 per cent of

total supply. Malaysia provides roughly 95 per cent of Pakistan’s

yearly total palm oil import.

Pakistan charges 15 per cent

less duty than the standard rate on crude palm oil import from Malaysia

as a result of a tariff agreement signed in 2007 between the two

countries.

Indonesia has been pushing Pakistan for the same

cut. The two countries are in talks for a preferential tariff pact, and

a Pakistani official confirmed last month that one was being

discussed.

In another development, a report issued by a US

Department of Agriculture attache in Kuala Lumpur said that Malaysia’s

crude palm oil production dropped 5.8 per cent to 1.3 million tonnes in

April 2010. Palm oil output was revised slightly upwards to 18.5

million tonnes for 2009/10.

“Palm oil exports declined 8.2

per cent to 1.3 million tonnes in April. Lower crude palm oil output

resulted in a lower stock level at the end of April,” the attache

report said.

Attache reports are not official USDA data. –

Reuters

Source : Business Times

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