Edible oil firms have cut prices by 15-20%: Pandey

‘Govt. reduced duty to almost zero’

In a relief for consumers, major edible oil companies, including Ruchi Soya and Adani Wilmar, have reduced the maximum retail price (MRP) of their products by about 15-20% following the measures taken by the government, Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey said on Thursday.

“This (edible oil prices) has been a concern for sometime and after very, very close engagement with the oil industry and very proactive measures by the government and meetings with oil industry, a very serious and significant reduction has happened,” Mr. Pandey said during a virtual conference.

During a presentation, he noted that, Ruchi Soya Industries had reduced retail prices on various oils by ₹14-₹30 per litre, Bunge India had lowered prices in the range of ₹10-₹20, Adani Wilmar, which sells Fortune brand of oils, had reduced priced by up to ₹40 and IFFCO Allana by up to ₹35.

“When you are dependent almost 60% on the import component, then the domestic prices are naturally influenced by the international prices. What the government of India did was to reduce duty to almost zero in case of edible oils, which showed significant reduction in the prices across brands of oil,” he added, noting that this is the second instance of price reduction and earlier too a similar 8-10% reduction had happened.

He added that the for the first time in the history, the international prices of palm oil, soya bean oil and sunflower oil are almost in the same range of $1,300 per tonnes. “This has never happened. There used to be an almost $300-400 gap between the prices of palm oil and other soybean and sunflower oil.”

Replying to a question on retail inflation, Mr. Pandey said, “We have been closely monitoring prices of all essential commodities in the regular inter-Ministerial meetings every week, the prices of all essential commodities…and we have seen that the prices of pulses have stabilised, prices of oil have come down, prices of both rice and wheat are very stable…as regards vegetables, onion, potato and tomato prices have come down… and the prospective projections of the crop of all the major essential vegetables indicates that the situation is going to be stable and we don’t expect any major hike in prices of these vegetables.”

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