The price of bottled oil has gone up by about Tk5 per litre
Prices of all types of soybean oil, including bottled and open, have gone up another notch in the capital within just a week since the last hike.
The price of bottled oil has gone up by Tk5 per litre, while the prices of loose soybean and palm oil have gone up by Tk2 to Tk4 per litre.
Traders have increased the retail price of a litre of bottled soybean oil from Tk 139 to Tk 144. The price of a five-litre bottle has been increased from Tk660 to Tk685.
Visiting New Market, Shantinagar and Mohakhali oil markets in the capital on Sunday, the Dhaka Tribune found that prices of all varieties of edible oil have gone up.
Retailers say edible oil companies have hiked oil prices, but they were also seen selling previously bottled soybean oil at higher prices.
The Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) said in its daily market price report on Sunday that loose soybean was being sold at Tk122 to Tk126 per litre.
Lutfor Rahman, a trader in the Karwan Bazar area, said: "Soybean oil prices have hiked again. It does not matter what is written on the bottle, if you want to buy a one-litre bottle, you have to pay Tk145.”
Kazi Emdad, a trader in the Elephant Road, said one-litre bottle of soybean oil was selling for Tk140.
Habib Dewan, a buyer at Elephant Road said: “We have nothing to do. Before Ramadan; soybean oil prices are soaring again. The government should look into it.”
At Hatirpool Bazar, buyer Idris Ahmed said many people have lost their jobs amid the lockdown.
“At this time, the oil price hike is a burden for us. The last price was high and now it is even higher than that!”
Last week, the government rejected importers' pleas to hike edible oil prices.
According to the law, the tariff commission has to be informed before raising the price of edible oil.
The Commerce Ministry also said that the price of oil would be fixed every 15 days due to the recent rise in prices in the international market.
Senior Secretary of Commerce Md Jafar Uddin could not be reached for a comment on the recent price hike.
SM Nazer Hussain, vice-president of Consumer Association Bangladesh (CAB), told Dhaka Tribune that earlier, the government had increased edible oil prices twice as per traders' demand.
“The market is dominated by monopolies. Syndicates are bagging the opportunity of inactiveness of the national competition commission amid pandemic,” he added.
He further suggested that strict action, proper market monitoring and enforcement could help the consumers weather this storm.