Soybean oil prices have been reduced by up to Tk 6 per liter
Edible oil refiners have slashed soybean oil prices by up to Tk6 a litre, although the consumer rights organization said rates should have been cut by at least Tk30 in a context of lower prices for the item on the world market.
Yesterday, Bangladesh Vegetable Oil Refiners and Vanaspati Manufacturers Association reset the highest retail price of bulk soybean oil to 180 taka per liter from 185 taka.
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It set the highest retail price for a one-litre soybean oil bottle at Tk199, down from Tk205, and a five-litre bottle at Tk980, down from Tk997.
The new rates come into effect today.
This is the first time in the past two months that edible oil refiners have cut prices. Since February, edible oil prices have increased by up to 55 taka per litre, with refiners increasing prices in phases, in line with soaring prices for the raw material in the international market.
Tapan Kanti Ghosh, principal secretary at the Ministry of Commerce, said cutting oil prices has been under discussion in recent days.
Earlier, the Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission had recommended cutting edible oil prices as its prices started falling in the world market in late May, he said.
The Commodity Pricing Committee under the Commerce Ministry has suggested lowering prices in consultation with importers, refiners and wholesalers, Tapan added.
Bangladesh Consumers Association chairman Ghulam Rahman said prices had not been reduced in sync with the rates of price falls in the international market.
“Given the general situation, I think the prices of [Soybean] oil should have been reduced by 15% [Tk 30] one liter on the domestic market.”
Citing data from Reuters news agency, the Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission said the price of crude soybean oil fell 26% in Argentina in a month. It fell to $1,464 a ton on June 22 from $1,970 a month ago. The price of palm oil also fell 27% to $1,230 from $1,690.
Edible oil prices in Bangladesh depend on international price movements, as up to 90% of the annual demand of 20 lakh tonnes is met by imports.
According to retailers in Dhaka and Chattogram, a one-liter bottle of soybean oil was sold for Tk196 yesterday and a five-liter bottle for Tk980-990, while bulk soybean oil was sold for 175-180 Tk per litre.
Shafiul Ather Taslim, Director of Finance and Operations at TK Group, said oil prices have been reduced given its lower prices in the global market, the flood situation and Eid-ul – Azha.
“It is apparent from the downward trend in the prices of edible oils on the world market that the prices will fall further in the coming days. But the products that we are currently selling on the market were purchased at a higher price… “, he added.