Retail edible oil prices in India on a downward spiral; falls by Rs 8-10 per kg in a month

Edible oil prices declined by Rs 8-10 per kg in last one month mainly on the back of lower import duties and may fall by Rs 3-4 per kg in coming months on higher domestic output of oilseeds and bearish trend in global markets, according to industry body SEA.

“The last few months have been harrowing for the Indian edible oil consumer largely on account of very high international prices of all oils viz palm, soya and sunflower,” Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) President Atul Chaturvedi said in a statement.

SEA had advised its members before Diwali to reduce prices to the maximum extent possible, he said, adding that the Centre also reduced import duties on edible oils. “We are happy to confirm all these actions have resulted in edible oil prices coming down by around Rs 8-10 per kg in the last 30 days,” Chaturvedi said.

“With likelihood of lower import parities, our members have agreed to pass on the reduced cost to our consumers as seasons greetings. We feel the prices would be reduced by around Rs 3-4 per kg in foreseeable future by our members,” the SEA president said.

With a large soyabean crop of around 120 lakh tonne and groundnut crop in excess of 80 lakh tonne, Chaturvedi said the edible oil prices would now remain in check.

“The icing on the cake is that high mustard seed prices have elicited a massive supply side response from the farmers and they have planted an all-time high mustard crop in about 77.62 lakh hectares. This figure is higher by almost 30 per cent and has the potential of increasing domestic mustard oil availability by 8 to 10 lakh tonnes in coming year,” he added. Chaturvedi said the global trend of edible oil prices is “relatively bearish and we feel prices would continue to move downward.”

According to SEA, India’s dependence on import of edible oils is nearly 65 per cent of the total consumption of about 22-22.5 million tonne. The country imports 13-15 million tonne to bridge the gap between demand and domestic supply.

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