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Commodity prices may soften by second half of 2022: HUL’s Sanjiv Mehta

Commodity prices may soften by second half of 2022: HUL’s Sanjiv Mehta

Mehta said he believes the current rise in commodity prices is not driven by high demand but by supply side issues.

Sanjiv Mehta, Chairman and MD, Hindustan Unilever - Photograph by Rachit Goswami Sanjiv Mehta, Chairman and MD, Hindustan Unilever - Photograph by Rachit Goswami

Hindustan Unilever CMD Sanjiv Mehta on Tuesday said he believes commodity prices are likely to cool down by the second half of 2022, which in turn will result in moderation in consumer inflation.

Responding to a question on consumer inflation in India and how long the commodity cycle of rising prices will continue, Mehta, who is also the president of industry body FICCI, told Business Today TV in an exclusive interview, "I don't think commodity cycle is based on high rate of demand, it has been driven all by supply side than by demand side...I believe if commodity manufacturers or commodity players start debottlenecking their supply chain, by the second half of 2022, we should start seeing softening of commodity prices."

Talking about the current consumer inflation scenario, Mehta added that inflation is a reality. "In the business which I lead, commodities like palm oil, commodities like toothpaste derivatives and even tea, the inflation has been unprecedented."

The newly-elected FICCI president also said that price increase will be a reality in many sectors as companies will not be left with any other option because of high commodity prices.

"While every company would look at tightening the bell, look at optimising all the lines of profit and loss (P&L), they would be left with no option but to take price increase," he said during the interview.