The Financial Express

Millers asked to keep edible oil supply orders at check

| Updated: January 30, 2021 19:52:32

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Millers asked to keep edible oil supply orders at check

A government agency has recommended measures to regulate the issuance of supply orders to help stabilise edible oil prices.

The millers usually issue orders beyond their production capacity, which hampers the supply chain of cooking oil when its price rises.

The delay in delivering orders by refiners also disrupts supply in the market, the Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission (BTTC) said in a presentation.

Required measures should be taken so that the delivery of cooking oil does not take more than 15 days, the commission's presentation said.

It has also recommended keeping mill gate prices stable for at least 10 days to reduce volatility in the essential commodity market.

Edible oil prices have shot up in recent weeks in the market.

In a previous recommendation, the commission said the current edible oil price is much higher than the purchasing power of consumers.

The commission suggested fixing the retail price of unpacked soybean oil at Tk 109 per litre and the bottled one at Tk 124 per litre.

Currently, millers charge Tk 15 for a litre and Tk 50 for five-litre plastic bottles, which can be lowered to cut costs at consumer level, it noted.

The commerce ministry held a review meeting on Sunday with the country's oil traders aiming to thrash out a solution to soaring edible oil prices in the market.

In the meeting, it was decided to hold a meeting for fixing a logical price of the widely-consumed item.

The commerce ministry is likely to sit again for devising a plan ahead of Ramadan so that prices of key essential items, including that of edible oil, remain stable during the holy month.

"Prices of edible will be fixed every month if necessary. The National committee will set a price. The commerce ministry is now working on this," a senior official said.

After the meeting, commerce minister Tipu Munshi said around 90 per cent of edible oil has to be imported in the country.

When international prices rise, it has an effect on the domestic market.

The price of per tonne of edible oil was U$ 700 in the global market in July. It is now over $1,100/1,190.

"For this, prices of the item have shot up more than 75 per cent in the kitchen market," he said.

Loose soybean oil is now priced at Tk 130 per kg, up from Tk 90 three months ago. Bottled or packaged soybean oil, whose cost was Tk 95 per liter is now selling at Tk 125, he noted.

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) on Monday ruled out any possibility of cutting import taxes on edible oil, despite the recent price spiral of the essential product.

Edible oil prices continued to soar after refiners raised prices at Tk 135-140 per litre jar.

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