Hyderabad: India’s imports of olive oil are on rise during the recent past, thanks to the ever-growing health consciousness among the people in the country. This can be seen from the demand for olive oil which is growing 20 per cent annually, according to Indian Olive Oil Association.
However, the trend is not evident in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and oil millers in both the Telugu states don’t see any significant demand for the oil in the near future. Speaking to The Hans India, Suresh Kumar Agarwal, president, Telangana Oil Millers’ Association, said olive oil still an unknown product for majority of consumers here.
“Price of olive oil per litre is in the range of Rs 1,000-1,200. Relatively, olive oil is costly and so most of the consumers here can’t afford it. May be it’s used only for massage purpose here,” Agarwal said. Karodimal Agarwal, general secretary, Telangana Oil Millers’ Association, said: “Olive oil is not much in commercial and domestic consumption.
May be 0.1 per cent consumers use it across India and the consumption is more or less negligible in Telugu states. I don’t think anyone is engaged in processing of edible oil in Telangana.” On the other side of the coin, India imported over 13,500 tonnes in 2016-17 fiscal year due to rising demand for it among the urban Indian consumers.
About 65 per cent of olive oil imports are sourced from Spain, the world’s largest producer of olive oil, and the rest from Italy and Turkey. Olive oil consumption in India is estimated to be 0.1 per cent of the total consumption of 17 million tonne of edible oils every year. However, the country is experimenting with olive production in Rajasthan as industry players see future potential in olive oil.
Andhra Pradesh is known for its agricultural entrepreneurship. But, the olive farming is not yet taken up in the state, says Vasudeva Rao, secretary, Krishna District Rice and Oil Millers’ Association. Rao said olive oil farming may take place in the state if its consumption picks up here.
Olive trees grow in any light soil. So whenever farmers realize export potential of this product, may be they resort to take it up in a big way, opines an exporter of edible oils from Hyderabad. Olive oil prices are on the rise in global markets.
Further, India has recently increased import duty. This coupled with rupee fluctuations against euro is keeping pressure on imports.
Courtesy: Hans India