Edible oil processors want Tk20 a litre hike in soybean oil
Edible oil processors in Bangladesh have proposed the government raise the price of soybean oil by Tk 20 per litre, according to processors and officials of the Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission (BTTC).
The Bangladesh Vegetable Oil Refiners & Vanaspati Manufacturers Association, a forum of the refiners, submitted a proposal to this effect to the BTTC on Thursday, said Md Mahmodul Hasan, deputy chief of the commission, today.
The association has called for raising the non-branded soybean oil to Tk 180 per litre, a litre branded soybean oil to Tk 205, and the five-litre container to Tk 960, according to the proposal.
The refiners are seeking an upward revision of the price of edible oil as the US dollar has strengthened against the taka that has raised the cost of imports, said a senior official of an edible oil processor.
"We have to buy a dollar by Tk 111-112," he told The Daily Star.
The American greenback has gained by as much as 20 per cent against the local currency amid US dollar shortages caused by abnormally high imports against lower-than-expected export receipts and a slowdown in remittance. This has driven down the foreign currency reserves to below $40 billion recently.
On June 9, the government increased the price of soybean oil by Tk 5 to Tk 7 per litre, which came a week after Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said the prices of the key kitchen item would come down soon since their prices had dropped in the international markets.
On June 26, edible oil refiners cut soybean oil prices up to Tk 6 a litre though the consumers' rights organisation said the rates should have been reduced by at least Tk 30 amid falling prices of the item in the global market.
Citing data from Reuters, the BTTC earlier said the price of crude soybean oil fell 26 per cent in Argentina in a month. It fell to $1,464 a tonne on June 22 from $1,970 a month ago. Palm oil price also fell by 27 per cent to $1,230 from $1,690.
Edible oil prices in Bangladesh depend on international price movements since up to 90 per cent of the country's annual demand of 20 lakh tonnes is met through imports.