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Edible oil prices rise by up to 30%, set off alarm bells

Date: 20-11-2020
Subject: Edible oil prices rise by up to 30%, set off alarm bells
NEW DELHI: Rising edible oil prices has become a cause of concern for the government. The average prices of all edible oils - groundnut, mustard, vanaspati, soybean, sunflower and palm - have increased, with the spike in the case of palm, soybean and sunflower oils by up to 20-30% in the last one year. 

Sources said this was flagged at a presentation before a Group of Ministers headed by home minister Amit Shah early this week. They added while prices of onion have reduced due to import of nearly 30,000 tonnes and potato prices have stabilised, edible oil prices have been increasing constantly. 

Data accessed from the consumer affairs ministry's price monitoring cell show that the average price of mustard oil was 120 per litre on Thursday compared to 100 a year back. In the case of vanaspati, prices have increased to 102.5 per kg against 75.25 a year back. The modal price of soybean oil was selling at 110 per litre while average price on October 18 in 2019 was 90. Similar has been the trend in the case of sunflower and palm oil. 

Sources said the reduction in palm oil production in Malaysia in the past six months has been one of the reasons behind increase in prices of other edible oils. Nearly 70% of the palm oil in the country is used by the processed food industry, which is the biggest bulk consumer. Industry sources now said it's up to the government to take a call whether to reduce the import duty on palm oil considering that the increase in palm oil prices directly impacts prices of other edible oils. 


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