Govt ban on rice-bran oil export goes today

FE REPORT | Friday, 1 July 2022

The government has withdrawn ban on export of rice-bran oil due to its low demand in the domestic market. The producers are able to export the edible oil from today (July 01).

The Ministry of Commerce has issued a circular on Wednesday, removing the export ban that was imposed on May 24.

It has also sent the circular to different state agencies, the Bangladesh Vegetable Oil Refiners and Vanaspati Manufacturers Association, and the Bangladesh Rice Bran Oil Mills Association (BRBOMA).

There are 17 rice bran oil mills in the country, according to the BRBOMA. The mills have bran process capacity of over 1.63 million tonnes annually.

The country produces 0.343 million tonnes of crude rice bran oil annually, and it is possible to raise the production to 0.514 million tonnes, industry sources said.

Currently, there is a negligible demand for rice bran oil in the local market. Only 800 tonnes of refined rice bran oil enter the local market every month.

The ministry has removed the export bar for the sake of the industry and following request of the entrepreneurs concerned, a source said.

The country fetched over US$ 175 million by exporting crude rice bran oil in the last 10 months of the fiscal year 2021-22.

Bangladesh annually imports 2.2-2.6 million tonnes of edible oils, including 0.7-0.8 million tonnes of soybean oil and 1.4-1.6 million tonnes of palm oil. More than 95 per cent of the local demand for edible oils is met through import.

The prices of edible oils have increased across the globe due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February.

The government has reduced value added tax (VAT) and duty on import of cooking oils to tackle price volatility and keep the oil market stable.

BRBOMA General Secretary Prokash Dutta earlier said it would be possible for them to meet 10 per cent of the total local demand for edible oils, if the government provides necessary supports to them.

Neighbouring India is the major importer of Bangladeshi crude rice bran oil, he added.

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