The Financial Express

Move on to raise edible oil prices yet again

Refiners want to increase soyabean oil price by Tk 12 to Tk 172 per litre

| Updated: November 23, 2021 19:27:19

Move on to raise edible oil prices yet again

Refiners have again proposed to raise the edible oil prices.

They say the proposal has been moved taking into account the current upward price trends of edible oils on the international market.

However, according to the global trade web portal Index Mundi, the prices of soyabean oil showed a gradual decline for the last few months.

Index Mundi said crude soyabean oil was selling at US$ 1280-1300 a tonne in November. It was $1400 a tonne in September, $1434 in August.

The price has been showing a plunge after reaching the peak of $1568 a tonne in May last, said the portal.

Hardship of common consumers is going to be exacerbated further if edible oil prices are again increased as per the traders' proposal to the government, analysts say.

Bangladesh Vegetable Oil Refiners and Vanaspati Manufacturers Association (BVORVMA) has proposed to the Commerce Ministry to take necessary steps in this regard, sources said.

The group of millers has mentioned in the proposal that the new rates will be effective from December 03, 2021.

The association increased the soyabean-oil prices for the fourth time this year in last October -- citing the same ground.

The BVORVMA proposed to increase the maximum retail price (MRP) of per- litre bottled soyabean oil to Tk 172 from Tk 160, according to the proposal. The maximum retail price (MRP) of a five-litre soyabean-oil jar will then rise to Tk 820 from Tk 760.

Besides, it has proposed to increase the MRP of loose soyabean oil and palm oil to Tk 148 from Tk 136 per litre and to Tk 129 from Tk 118 per litre respectively.

"Amid soaring prices of many necessaries hitting consumers hard, now already-high prices of edible oils have been paining to the consumers," a source said.

Commoners and consumer-rights campaigners decry that the fresh oil-price raise would exacerbate woes of consumers, particularly people of low-and limited-income groups, he added.

On October 19, 2021, the oil refiners through discussion with the commerce ministry increased the MRP of per-litre bottled soyabean oil to Tk 160 from Tk 153. They also increased the prices of a five-litre can of soyabean oil to Tk 760.

Besides, the price of loose soyabean oil has been proposed to increase to Tk 136 while the MRP of super palm oil to increase to Tk 118.

In September last, the price of bottled soyabean oil was fixed at Tk 153 per litre while a five-litre jar Tk 728.

"Hardship of common consumers is going to be intensified further following another raise in prices of soyabean oil, a widely consumed cooking edible," experts say on a note of resentment.

The MRPs of soyabean oils were increased several times due to increase in prices of the item on the global market in the last couple of months, perceived as fallout from the economic disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

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

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