According to India’s Solvent Extractors Association or the SEA, China has been making attempts to purchase castor seeds in large quantities from India. A trade body suggested that China has plans of importing castor seed in large amounts from India to create a scarcity of raw materials.

SEA in a letter to Union minister for commerce & industry, Piyush Goyal, wrote that for the last few months, China had been aggressively buying commodities to bolster their state reserves, they understand they were also targeting to buy big quantities of castor seeds from India. The letter further read that traditionally, China bought castor oil and derivatives from India but this newfound interest in looking to buy castor seeds had huge ramifications for our domestic industry.

The association further said that India supplies almost 85-90% of the world’s requirement of castor oil and its derivatives and has a very well-developed processing industry and its ur exports of castor oil touch almost Rs 6,000 crore per annum. The letter read that the processing industry provides employment to large number of persons both directly and indirectly, in case, China starts buying castor seeds aggressively, India’s processing industry would suffer.

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SEA’s executive director, BV Mehta expressed that the export of castor seed should be discouraged. He also said that value addition within the country should be India’s principal focus.

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