Although the mill owners offered to increase the price, the Commerce Ministry did not agree. But in the meantime, the price of edible oil has gone up in the market. At present, all types of edible oil are being sold in the market at 5 to 14 takas more than the fixed price.
In addition, before the price hike was offered, the oil of some brand companies was sold at three to four takas less than the fixed price. Now that discount is not available in the retail market.
Vendors say they have to look at how much the company keeps from them instead of the price set by the government. They have to be sold accordingly. Even if the government does not approve, the company’s sales representatives are charging extra. So they also had to raise prices.
On January 2, the Association of Edible Oil Refineries proposed to increase the price of oil. They proposed to increase the price of soybean oil by at least Tk 8 per liter and palm oil by Tk 11 per liter. However, after a meeting of traders with the Commerce Ministry on Wednesday, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said that prices would not be increased till February 6.
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At the end of the meeting, the Ministry of Commerce decided that nothing can be done without proper accountability. And it will take at least 16 days. Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi told reporters, “If the price goes up, it will go up. If it goes down, it will go down. However, no decision can be taken without judicial analysis. The traders themselves raised some prices without informing us. The current price will remain the same till February 6. After considering everything, whatever is convenient will be done.”
Earlier, on October 16, the price of edible oil was increased to Tk 7 per liter. According to the latest fixed price, open soybean oil is to be sold at retail at a maximum of Tk 138 per liter, bottled soybean oil at a maximum of Tk 160, five-liter at Tk 760, and open palm oil at Tk 118.
It was seen that open soybean oil is being sold at 155 to 158 takas per liter. As such, the price per liter is 140 to 145 takas. One liter of bottled oil is being sold at 160 to 165 takas. Before the price hike, many companies were selling bottled oil at a discount of Tk 155. Now there is no such discount, but it is being sold more than the fixed price.
To buy a liter of bottled oil now you have to pay 160 to 165 takas depending on the brand. You have to pay 745 to 800 takas to buy a five-liter bottle. According to the sellers, those who have the oil they bought earlier are selling a little less. Newly bought bottles have to be sold at extra prices. Because the cost of buying them has increased.
According to the Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission (BTTC), the country has an annual demand of 2 million tons of edible oil. According to the port data of 2021, the country has imported 27 lakh 71 thousand tons of edible oil. That means adequate oil reserves and supply.
According to the latest report of BTTC, LCs were opened for one lakh 24 thousand tons more than the number of debts (LCs) opened for import of refined, crude, and oilseeds for edible oil imports in July-December of 2020-21. At the same time, LC disposal has been more than 34 thousand tons. As a result, the import and supply situation is good.