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Soybean oil

Refiners, ministry at odds over price hike

BVORVMA moots Tk 10 hike per litre

FE REPORT | April 17, 2024 00:00:00

Refiners have announced a Tk 10 hike in soybean oil prices per litre, although global prices hit a one-year low as reported by international commodity portals.

The refiners have justified the hike citing the expiration of the government's 5.0-per cent VAT exemption facility on April 15.

During a 'press meet' hosted by the Dhaka Reporters Unity on Tuesday, state minister for commerce Ahsanul Islam Titu said it was unlikely for the price to revert to the previous level even if adjusted.

The Trade and Tariff Commission (BTTC) has been actively involved in the process of setting reasonable prices through coordination, according to him.

Mr Titu also expressed concern over the recent geopolitical tensions, especially the Iran-Israel conflict, saying it might cause disruptions to the supply of certain commodities.

He said efforts have been taken to prevent price rises amid uncertainties in fuel oil and other imports from the Middle East.

Plans are well underway to introduce products of the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) in groceries, with updates to the TCB cardholders' list.

The junior minister said the government was committed to stabilising the prices of 18 essential commodities for the benefit of the commoners. In response to mill refiners' proposal to increase oil prices, he said he had no knowledge of getting any information or letter.

Meanwhile, a letter from the Bangladesh Vegetable Oil Refiners and Vanaspati Manufacturers Association (BVORVMA) said the expiry of the SRO, issued on February 07, for edible oil import and production raw materials led to the resumption of pre-VAT prices of refined palm oil and soybean oil from April 16.

According to the letter, the price of bottled soybean oil has been raised by Tk 10 per litre to Tk 173, with the price of a 5.0-litre bottle increasing to Tk 845.

Loose palm oil is priced at Tk 132 a litre.

Earlier on March 01, the price of bottled oil was reduced by Tk 10 to Tk 163 per litre, with a 5.0-litre bottle priced at Tk 800.

Palm oil prices remained unsettled due to fluctuations in the international market. This time, companies have set its prices also.

According to global commodity portal "Market Insider", crude soybean oil prices (average FOB) fell to $990 a tonne during the March-April period, a 34.7-per cent decline in a year.

DRU president Syed Shukur Ali Shuvo chaired the event, which was moderated by general secretary Md Mohiuddin.

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