Edible oil prices in the major retail markets across the country have declined by Rs 5-20 per kg after various measures, including an import duty cut, by the government, Food Secretary Sudhansu Pandey said on Friday. The official said that branded oil makers have also revised the rates for new stock.
Domestic edible oil prices have soared in tandem with the global prices which shot up due to reduced availability of edible oils for food use following diversion for biofuel in Indonesia, Brazil and other countries.
"The government has taken a number of steps to ensure consumers get relief from high prices. We are happy to share the trend from 167 centres. Edible oil prices have declined quite significantly in the range of Rs 5 and 20 per kg in the major retail markets across the country," Pandey said during a press briefing.
For instance, retail palm oil price in Delhi declined by Rs 5 to Rs 133/kg on November 3 from Rs 139/kg, while it fell by Rs 18 to Rs 122/kg from Rs 140/kg in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, while by Rs 7 to Rs 125/kg in Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu from Rs 132/kg in the said period, he said.
Even retail price of groundnut oil declined by Rs Rs 5-10/kg, while soyabean oil by Rs 5-11/kg, and sunflower oil by Rs 5-20/kg between October 31 and November 3, he added. The government monitors retail prices of six edible oils from 167 centres across the country.
In the case of mustard oil, the Secretary said, "we have not seen a significant reduction in prices," but the steps taken by the government including import duty rationalisation will have an impact on prices of mustard oil as well.
"We are going to see a southward trend in mustard oil prices too," he said, adding that ongoing sowing of mustard seed is better than last year. The area sown to mustard seed, a rabi crop, is 11 per cent better than the year-ago period, he added.
Asked by when the branded cooking oils will revise the rates, the Secretary said, "I have spoken to the industry and they have confirmed that they have revised the MRP for new releases."
In fact, the industry body SEA has advised its distributions, retailers and wholesalers to pass import duty cut to consumers even on the old stock, he said.
Major edible oils players, including Adani Wilmar and Ruchi industries, have cut wholesale prices by Rs 4 -7 per litres to give relief to consumers during the festival season, a government statement said.
The other players that have reduced the wholesale prices of edible oils are Gemini Edibles and Fats India, Hyderabad, Modi Naturals, Delhi, Gokul Re-foils and Solvent, Vijay Solvex, Gokul Agro Resources and N K Proteins, it added.
While the global edible oil prices have stabilized at higher levels in the last ten days, but the reduction in import duty and other steps like imposition of stock limits to curb hoarding has helped cool down domestic prices, the secretary said.
Pandey said the reduction in petrol and diesel rates will also have an overarching impact on local edible oil prices as distribution cost will get reduced.
Currently, the Uttar Pradesh government has imposed a stock limit up to 25 tonne on wholesale and retailers to check prices. Three more states are at advanced stages of imposition of the stock limits.
The secretary said the Centre will review the status of the stock limit with state governments next week.