Soybean oil gets costlier
Consumers will have to pay Tk 7 more for per litre of edible oil as the commerce ministry has approved refiners' proposal to hike the price -- a development that is going to put further strain on people's wallets, especially those of the fixed- and low-income group.
High prices of various commodities and vegetables have hit many, particularly those who either lost jobs or have to accept reduced wages because of the coronavirus-induced economic slowdown.When the prices of basic commodities like rice, sugar, egg, onion and lentil have soared in the local market, the commerce ministry yesterday endorsed the proposal.
With this, the edible oil price has been hiked for the third time this year. This time it happened after a month.
Prices of edible oil go up in the local market due to price hike of crude soybean and palm oil in the international market, say refiners.
As per the proposal of the Bangladesh Vegetable Oil Refiners and Vanaspati Manufacturers Association, the ministry increased the price of bottled soybean oil to Tk 160 per litre from Tk 153.
The price of loose soybean oil has been fixed at Tk 136 per litre.
The price of a five-litre can of soybean oil has been set at Tk 760 and the price of a bottle of palm oil (super) at Tk 118 per litre at the retail level, according to a statement from the association.
"The new prices of edible oil will come into effect in the local market from tomorrow [today]," said AHM Shafiquzzaman, additional secretary to the commerce ministry.
The refiners proposed Tk 168 per litre for edible oil at the retail level, but the ministry finally fixed the price at Tk 160 a litre.
The edible oil price was hiked in February this year. On September, the government increased the price in response to the refiners' proposal.
Till October 9 this year, prices of crude soybean oil were 70 percent higher year-on-year to $1,355 per tonne from $785 a year ago, according to data compiled by Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission.
Palm oil price has also gone up.
Apart from high prices in the international market, refiners also blame the 15 percent Value-Added Tax on edible oil for the situation.
The commerce ministry last month sought duty reduction measures on import of edible oil from the National Board of Revenue so that its price comes down in the local market.
On Saturday, the country's apex trade body -- Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry -- expressed disappointment for higher prices of basic commodities as a section of traders have been taking the advantage of the situation.