Refiners want soybean up Tk 20 a litre
Edible oil processors have proposed a hike of Tk 20 per litre in the price of soybean oil on the ground of the significant depreciation of the taka, which has raised their import cost.
The bid for higher prices comes at a time when the price of soybean oil is stabilising in the global market after hitting a peak in May.
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.
In its proposal to the Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission on Thursday, the Bangladesh Vegetable Oil Refiners & Vanaspati Manufacturers Association, called for raising the prices of: loose soybean oil to Tk 180 per litre, a litre of bottled soybean oil to Tk 205 and the five-litre container to Tk 960.
The government last raised the price of soybean oil by Tk 5-7 per litre on June 9 -- a week after Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi had said the price would come down.
Then on June 26, edible oil refiners cut the soybean oil price by up to Tk 6 a litre though the consumers' rights organisation said the rates should have been reduced by at least Tk 30 amid its falling price in the global market.
"It is true that the dollar price is increasing but it is also true that the prices of edible oil are decreasing in the international market," said Ghulam Rahman, president of the Consumers Association of Bangladesh.
Referring to a recent report of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations on oil crops' monthly price update, he said the edible oil prices are likely to decrease further in the international market in the days to come.
The government should take a proper decision so that no one can make unusual profit here, he said.