Citing soaring dollar prices, mill owners seek to raise Tk 20 per litre for cooking oil

On Jul 17, the prices for bottled and open soybean oil were fixed at Tk 185 and Tk 166 respectively per litre

Published : 7 August 2022, 01:48 PM
Updated : 7 August 2022, 01:48 PM

Cooking oil importers and refiners have asked the Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission to consider their plan to raise the oil price Tk 20 more per litre, citing soaring US dollar prices.

The market for edible oil has been in a topsy-turvy state since the third quarter of the last fiscal year due to a demand-supply mismatch, as the supply chain was disrupted due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, which created a snowball effect globally.

As a result, prices of cooking oil kept rising in the local market, and back in May, the importers even raised edible oil prices by as much as 32 percent. The price reached over Tk 200 for a litre of bottled cooking oil.

Importers were claiming that they were forced to pay around $1900 per tonne, which was around $1400-$1500 before.

However, the market cooled down a little after the global supply chain issues were resolved, and the price of per tonne cooking oil came down to $1600 as the Bangladesh government, after consulting the importers, on Jul 17 reduced the price for edible oil Tk 14 per litre.

The prices for each bottled and open soybean oil were fixed at Tk 185 and Tk 166 respectively per litre while the price of palm oil was set at Tk 152 per litre.

Mohammad Nurul Islam Mollah, secretary of the Bangladesh Vegetable Oil Refiners and Vanaspati Manufacturers Association, demanded that the tariff commission must grant their request as the importers are being forced to pay extra to open letters of credit, or LCs, and for import costs.

“We are feeling the heat of soaring dollar [US dollar] prices. At this very moment, we are paying over Tk 110 for each dollar. We propose to adjust the prices in line with dollar prices,” he said.

But AKM Ali Ahad Khan, additional secretary at the commerce ministry, said the ministry has yet to receive any such proposal from the importers.

“Perhaps they [mill owners] went to the Tariff Commission. It’s up to the commission now to assess the application and come up with an answer,” he said.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher