If approved, it would be the fourth hike in less than six months of 2021
Consumers are about to feel the heat as edible oil importers have proposed to increase the price of soybean oil by Tk13 per litre.
If approved, it would be the fourth hike in less than six months of 2021.
Prices of soybean oil have already risen by Tk15-21 per litre thrice in the first four months of this year.
Bangladesh Vegetable Oil Refiners & Vanaspati Manufacturers Association had recently sought permission from the Ministry of Commerce to propose the Tk13 per litre price hike.
According to sources, the ministry will give their judgment on Thursday.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said: "The price of edible oil is going up at the international level. We will analyze the price at which the product arrived at the port. The importers made a proposal.
We will review with the Trade and Tariff Commission to see what the price of the product should be now."
If prices are not adjusted in the country's market, no one will open a letter of credit (LC), there will be more crises. Both the Tariff Commission and Ministry of Commerce should look upon this, said a member of the association, seeking anonymity.
Shops will not sell edible oil while incurring losses. That is why international prices should be considered. The duty exemption amid price hike could help both them and importers, he added.
Earlier on April 25, the association had increased the price of soybean by Tk5 per litre.
A week later, on May 3, the association announced that the price would be increased by Tk2-3 per litre, not Tk5.
At the request of the Commerce Ministry, they agreed to increase its prices by Tk2 per litre until Eid-ul-Fitr.
Additional Secretary (Import and Internal Trade) of the Ministry of Commerce AHM Safiquzzaman, said: "During Ramadan, they (importers) wanted to increase soybean oil price by Tk5 per litre as the prices increased in the international market. We increased Tk2 per litre considering Eid and the ongoing Covid-19 situation.”
Amjad Hossain, an edible oil retailer at Hatirpool kitchen market, said: “Edible oil market is volatile, as importers set the prices with which we sell to customers. We do not have any influence over this.”
“Currently Rupchanda oil per litre costs Tk143, Fresh soyabean oil Tk139, Teer soyabean oil Tk140. On the other hand, a bottle of five litre oil costs between Tk645-685,” he added.
Yakub Hossain, a consumer at the same market said: “The price of edible oil has worried us since Ramadan. The government should take measures to keep the prices within our reach.”
Another consumer, Minhaz Bhiuyan, expressed anger and said that prices of everything from rice to edible oil went up, with no signs of decreasing anytime soon.
According to the Commerce Ministry, a bulletin issued on Tuesday said that it is regularly monitoring domestic production, international market situation, import situation, and local market situation.
Soybean oil prices in the country have risen comparatively less than the rise in prices in the international market, it also said.
Since June last year, soybean oil prices have been unstable in the international market and 95% of the country's demand has been imported from abroad.
Earlier on April 10, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) removed 4% advance tax on soybean and palm oil imports in view of Ramadan.