Story in: September-2023

Story: Soybean Oil Market: Open Oil vs. Bottled Oil

Soybean Oil Market: Open Oil vs. Bottled Oil

According to sources from the Ministry of Commerce, the country currently has an annual demand of 2 million tons of edible oil. 70 percent of this oil is palm oil. The remaining 30 percent is soybeans. 50 percent of soybeans are sold openly. The remaining 50 percent is bottled and sold. There are many complaints about open oil. For example; Underweight, adulterated, nutritionally incorrect, selling palm oil as soybean oil, etc. For all these reasons, the initiative was taken to stop the sale of open soybean oil.

In continuation of this, the National Directorate of Consumer Rights Protection called for market surveillance across the country from last August 1, 2023, to stop the sale of open soybean oil. Earlier, the government set several deadlines for the closure of open soybeans, but it was not observed. At the same time, the government remained silent due to the volatility in the international soybean market. Now, the government has taken the initiative to stop the sale of open soybean oil as the price of soybeans has started to fall.

According to the related sources, only open soybeans will be sold in the market for the time being. Open oils like Open Palm and Palm Super will be in the market. Now that open soybeans can be sold fully packaged, other oils will be brought under the rule later. That is, other oils should also be packaged and sold. The government wants that there will be no open oil in the market. All grades of edible oil must be packaged and sold.

Allegedly, traders often sell palm oil as open soybeans when there is an opportunity to sell it in open form. And sometimes the sellers keep the price of low-quality oil high. There are cases where one grade of oil is supplied with another grade of oil. Apart from this, if the edible oil is open, the health risk has been repeatedly discussed. Basically, the government is taking this initiative to prevent health risks and fraud.

It is known that the first initiative to stop the sale of open soybean oil was taken by the Ministry of Industry. Then the Ministry of Commerce joined it. Discussions with other government agencies, including the government's Food Safety Authority, have suggested that the sale of open oil should be stopped. Because open oil is increasing the health risk, there is a complaint for a long time. For this, the government had set a deadline for the traders to wrap and sell 100% of the oil by last December.

Mohammad Shafiul Athar Taslim, director of edible oil marketing company TK Group, said that if 100% of the oil is bottled, there will be no doubt about which company's oil it is. But if the work is to be done, it is not possible without the collective efforts of all.

As traders are not fully prepared to market 100% of the demand for packaged soybean oil, the period for selling open soybean oil in the market has been extended by six months. However, the sale of open soybean oil in the market will be completely banned after the next six months, said Director General of the National Consumer Rights Protection Directorate AHM Safikuzzaman. -Editor


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