The price of edible oil is increasing in the market. The meeting of traders with the Commerce Minister last January, market monitoring did not have any positive impact on the edible oil market. The price of this essential product is increasing almost every week on the pretext of higher prices in the international market.
Last Friday (February 12, 2021), the price of soybean increased in the retail market of the capital. The government’s marketing agency, the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), said in its retail market report yesterday that the price of bottled soybean would go up by Tk. 5 to 10 per liter in a single day. In all, soybeans have risen from Tk. 30 to 35 per liter in the last one and a half to two months. The prices of palm oil and palmsuper have also gone up, which has put consumers at a disadvantage. Why the price of edible oil is increasing from time to time, this is their question. Consumers allege that there is a cycle of manipulation of edible oil on the pretext of higher prices in the international market. They are increasing the price from time to time.
However, traders say that the price of edible oil is fluctuating in the international market due to which the country’s importers are not buying large quantities of edible oil at the same time for fear of losses. At present, soybeans are being sold at Dollar 1,100 per ton and palm oil at Dollar 1,050 per ton in the international market, they said. But the price dropped from 100 to 150 Dollar 20-25 days ago. And in July last year, the price of soybean was Dollar 600 per ton. The country imports 90 percent of its demand for edible oil, they said, adding that the rise in edible oil prices in the country has an impact on the international market.
Is this the only reason for the price increase? In response to this question, the traders said that the supply of soybean and palm oil is less than the demand in the international market. This is because of the long-running strike at edible oil mills in Argentina. Soybeans are imported from Brazil and Argentina. Palm oil is also imported from Malaysia and Indonesia. The palm oil season is starting from February-March in these two countries. But the two countries fear their palm oil production will be lower this year.
According to traders, due to the Corona epidemic, China imported almost twice as much edible oil from the international market last year as in 2019. This year too they have ordered more edible oil than their demand. Due to these reasons, the supply of edible oil is less than the demand in the international market. This has affected the country’s market. However, the market is expected to stabilize within the next one month if there is a clear idea about palm oil production in Malaysia and Indonesia.
Bottled soybeans were seen selling at Tk 135 to 140 per liter in the retail market yesterday. And 5 liter bottled soybeans are being sold for Tk 650 to 680. Besides, open soybean is sold at Tk 118 to 120 per liter, palmsuper at Tk 110 to 115 and palm oil at Tk 100 to 102 per liter.
According to Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), the government’s marketing arm, bottled soybean oil has risen by 28.57 per cent and open palm oil by 32.67 per cent in the last one year.
Regarding the increase in the price of edible oil, Md. Ali Bhutto, a wholesale edible oil trader in Moulvibazar, said that the price of edible oil has also gone up in the country due to the increase in the price in the international market. However, the price at which edible oil is currently being sold in the wholesale market should not be so high in the retail market. At present, soybean is being sold at Tk 4,450 per mound, palm oil at Tk 3,710 and palmsuper at Tk 3,810 per ounce, he said.
After a recent meeting with edible oil traders at the Secretariat, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi told reporters that due to the high and low price of edible oil in the international market, it fluctuates in the country. So we are trying to solve the problem in depth.