Retail edible oils rate starting to dip: Centre

The Union government on Friday said retail edible oil prices are witnessing a declining trend after it cut the import duty to rein in on the impact of the high international commodity prices.

As per data shared by the Department of Food and Public Distribution, prices of palm oil, groundnut oil, soya oil and sunflower oil — which command 89 per cent share of the domestic consumption — have come down in the range of ₹5-20 per kg in various regions between October 31 and November 3. It said branded edible oil players have also revised maximum retail price (MRP) to pass on the benefits to consumers.

Downtrend in prices

Speaking to mediapersons on Friday, Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey said, “The government has been taking a number of steps to ensure that consumers get relief. We are happy to see the declining trend countrywide and data from 167 centres indicates that edible oil prices have declined quite significantly ranging from ₹5- ₹20 per kg. This declining trend has been witnessed in palm oil, sunflower oil, groundnut oil and soya oil.”

For instance, retail palm oil price in Delhi declined by ₹6 per kg; by ₹18 in Aligarh, by ₹10 in Jowai (Meghalaya), by ₹5 in Dindigul and ₹7 in Cuddalore (both Tamil Nadu).

Similarly, retail prices of groundnut oil declined by ₹5-10/kg, while that of soyabean oil by ₹5-11, and sunflower oil by ₹5-20 between October 31 and November 3, as per the Ministry data.

Impact likely on mustard

Pandey said the recent steps taken by the government are expected to have an impact on prices of mustard oil as well, which contributes about 11 per cent to the domestic consumption. He said mustard sowing is currently ongoing, and is seeing significant increase this time with area sown being 12-15 per cent higher than last year.

One of the reasons for the drop in edible oil price is the decision of manufacturers under the umbrella of the Solvent Extractors Association and Indian Vegetable Oil Producers Association to cut wholesale prices. Major edible oil players such as Adani Wilmar, Patanjali, Gemini and Ruchi Industries prices by ₹4-7 a litre. “The other players that have reduced the wholesale prices of edible oils are Modi Naturals, Delhi, Gokul Re-foils and Solvent, Vijay Solvex, Gokul Agro Resources and NK Proteins,” the Food Ministry statement said.

Stock limits

As of now, Uttar Pradesh has imposed stock limits on wholesalers and retailers as directed by the Centre. Pandey said three more States are at advanced stages of imposition of the stock limits. “We will review the status of the stock limit with the State governments next week,” he added.

To control prices of edible oils, the government has rationalised import duties on palm oil, sunflower oil and soyabean oil and futures trading in mustard oil on NCDEX has been suspended and States have been directed to impose stock limits.

The Centre earlier cut the basic duty on Crude Palm Oil, Crude Soyabean Oil and Crude Sunflower Oil from 2.5 per cent to nil. The Agri-cess has been brought down from 20 per cent to 7.5 per cent for Crude Palm Oil and 5 per cent for Crude Soyabean Oil and Crude Sunflower Oil.

The basic duty on RBD Palmolein Oil, Refined Soyabean and Refined Sunflower Oil has been slashed to 17.5 per cent from the current 32.5 per cent.