Govt. convenes 2nd meeting with leading Oil Producers

Jun 03: In order to sustain the decreasing trend in the domestic prices, Secretary, of the Department of Food and Public Distribution, Shri Sanjeev Chopra convened a 2nd meeting today in New Delhi with the leading industry representatives including the Solvent Extraction Association of India (SEAI) and Indian Vegetable Oil Producers’ Association (IVPA), etc. to discuss further reduction in the retail prices of edible oils amidst a continued fall in the global prices. This is the second meeting convened within a month by the Department of Food and Public Distribution with the industry representatives.

The industry informed that the global prices of different edible oils have fallen by USD 150-200 per tonne in the last two months. Industry informed that they have reduced the MRP and will further reduce it shortly. However, there is an element of time lag for reflection in the retail markets and the retail prices are soon expected to come down further.

Earlier also the Department had convened a meeting with the leading edible oil associations and over a month the MRP of Refined Sunflower Oils and Refined Soybean Oil of some major brands have decreased by Rs. 5-15 per litre. A similar decrease has been done in the case of Mustard oil and other edible oils as well. The reduction in oil prices came in the wake of the reduction of international prices and reduced import duty on edible oils making them cheaper.  The industry was then advised to ensure that the entire benefit of the reduced international prices is passed on to the consumers invariably.

It was discussed in the meeting held today that the international prices of imported edible oils are continuing on a downward trend and therefore, the edible oil industry needs to ensure that the prices in the domestic market also drop commensurately.

This price drop has to be passed on expeditiously to the end consumers and not in a delayed manner as is observed now. The leading Edible Oil Associations were advised to take up the issue with their members immediately and ensure that the MRP of major edible oils is reduced further by Rs. 8-12 per litre, with immediate effect. Price to distributors by the manufacturers and refiners also needs to be reduced with immediate effect so that the price drop is not diluted in any way. It was also impressed upon that, whenever a reduction in price to distributors is made by the manufacturers/refiners, the benefit should be passed on to the consumers by the industry and this Department may be kept informed on a regular basis. Some companies which have not reduced their prices and whose MRP is higher than other brands have also been advised to reduce their prices.

Other issues like price data collection and packaging of edible oils were also discussed in this meeting.

With the edible oil prices continuing to show a downward trend and set to witness further reduction by the edible oil industry, Indian consumers can expect to pay less for their edible oils. The falling edible oil prices will help in further cooling inflation fears if any.

The Department of Food & Public Distribution closely monitors and reviews the prices of edible oils in the country and steps in whenever any intervention is required to ensure the affordability of edible oils which forms an important part of the human diet.  The international and domestic prices of edible oil were on an upward swing during 2021-22 due to many geo-political factors including higher input and logistic costs.  However, now the edible oil prices in the international market are witnessing a fall since mid-June 2022. The fall in the prices of edible oils in the domestic market is gradually being reflected in the domestic market. However, the Government feels the Associations can further reduce the prices and provide relief to the consumers.

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