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India has emerged as a key global importer of vegetable oils

Thursday, October 10, 2019

India is the world’s leading importer of vegetable oils (primarily soybean oil and palm oil), ahead of the European Union (EU) and China. At 15.4 million metric tons in 2016, India accounted for over 20 percent of global vegetable oil imports. India’s demand for vegetable oils has grown almost without interruption since the 1970s, propelled by rapidly expanding population and strong per capita income growth (on an inflation-adjusted basis). India’s domestic production of oilseeds, the raw material that is processed into oil and meal, is inadequate for meeting domestic demand for vegetable oils. Moreover, a distinctive feature of the Indian market is that India’s tariff and nontariff barriers effectively prevent imports of oilseeds (including soybeans), which are the basic ingredient for vegetable oil. Despite allowing imports of vegetable oils (subject to tariffs) that are produced from genetically modified (GM) oilseeds, India does not grow or allow import of GM soybeans. With India’s demand for edible oils far surpassing its capacity to supply oil, India has emerged as a key import market for edible oils. This chart appears in the ERS report, Impacts on India’s Farmers and Processors of Reducing Soybean Import Barriers, released in October 2019.

Diversifying diets are placing new pressures on India's agricultural markets

Thursday, November 10, 2011

With rising incomes diversifying food demand, nonstaple foods-including fruits, vegetables, dairy products, eggs, and meats-are now experiencing the fastest growth in production and consumption. India's agricultural policies and development programs focus on staple food production, so the growth and diversification of food consumption is placing new demands on underdeveloped agricultural markets and institutions. This chart may be found in the India topic on the ERS website, updated August 2011.

Investment in Indian agriculture continues to lag despite rising demand and prices

Friday, November 4, 2011

Despite accelerating growth in the overall economy, rising consumer demand, and supportive price and subsidy policies, growth and investment in Indian agriculture and agribusiness have remained weak since the early 1990s. There is evidence that numerous domestic policy interventions, along with weak infrastructure and limited institutional support for agricultural markets, have been a deterrent to new investment by agribusinesses and farmers. This chart may be found in the India topic on the ERS website, updated August 2011.

India recently experienced increases in food price inflation

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Since 1990, India's overall economic growth has accelerated, rising from an annual average of 5.2 percent during 1991-95 to 8.4 percent during 2006-10. Economic performance has generally been consistent with two key policy priorities-employment generation and price stability. Since 2008, however, inflation-including food price inflation-has emerged as a threat to sustained growth and consumer welfare. Following a prolonged period of general stability in real food prices extending back to the 1970s, real wholesale food prices have averaged 3.8 percent higher, and retail prices about 2 percent higher, during 2006-10. This graph may be found in the India topic page on the ERS website, updated August 18, 2011.

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