Amid no sign of further moderation in edible oil prices, industry body SEA on Monday said its members have decided to further reduce the wholesale prices of edible oils by Rs 3-5 per kg during this festival season to provide relief to consumers.
Due to government steps, there has already been a 21.59 per cent reduction in average retail prices of palm oil at Rs 132.98 per kg on October 31, from Rs 169.6 per kg on October 1, as per the data maintained by the consumer affairs ministry.
The average retail price of soya oil saw a marginal reduction to Rs 153 per kg from Rs 155.65 per kg in the said period. However, average retail prices of groundnut oil, mustard oil and sunflower oil remained firm at Rs 181.97 per kg, Rs 184.99 per kg and Rs 168 per kg, respectively, on October 31, the ministry data showed.
To further give relief to consumers, the Solvent Extractors' Association of India (SEA) said, "SEA members have decided to further reduce prices of edible oils by Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000 per tonne keeping in mind the Diwali festivities." SEA members, even though they are saddled with high-duty paid stocks, are responding to the needs of consumers and bringing down the selling prices, it said in a statement.
To check prices, the government took several measures, including a sharp reduction in import duties in the second week of October, which helped control runaway prices and is now reflected in the domestic wholesale rates, it said. After the duty cut, SEA said there was a 7-11 per cent reduction in wholesale prices of palmolein, refined soy and refined sunflower between October 10 and October 30.
"Even though international prices of all these edible oils have risen substantially, the duty reduction by the government has cushioned the impact for the consumers," it said. Domestic edible oil prices have shot up in tandem with the international market where rates have risen due to reduced availability of edible oils for food use following diversion for biofuel in Indonesia, Brazil and other countries.
India meets over 60 per cent of its edible oils demand through imports. Any rise in global prices has a direct impact on local prices.
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