Soybean oil stays out of Dhaka shops after mill owners raise prices

At Karwan Bazaar and other markets, grocers sold mustard and sunflower oils.

Jasim Uddin, a trader in Karwan Bazar, said he got 10 bottles of Pushti soybean oil from a TK Group dealer, but Jasim and his employees distributed the products among themselves for their own needs.

“Dealers from several companies assured us of supplying certain products on Saturday,” he said.

An official at wholesaler Ankhi Store said it received 200 boxes of Pushti soybean oil on Friday. The shop sells 5,000 cartons of cooking oil a day in normal times, he said.

Bulk soybean oil is poured into bottles to be measured at a shop in Karwan Bazar on Thursday, May 5, 2022. Photo: Asif Mahmud Ove

Persistent consumer woes related to the lack of availability of cooking oil worsened ahead of Eid.

Although the companies running the mills imported 20 million liters of soybean oil ahead of the festival, they said the new shipment cost them more than usual due to rising prices in the international market. . Therefore, they needed time to consult with the government before setting new prices.

They said on Friday the supply was not yet normal as it was a weekly public holiday.

Bottled soybean oil now costs Tk 198 per litre, down from Tk 160 previously, in line with prices set by Bangladesh vegetable oil refiners and the Vanaspati Manufacturers Association after consultation with the government.

The price of five-liter bottles of soybean oil was set at 985 takas. Unpackaged soybean oil was raised from 40 taka to 180 taka per liter.

“The supply has been interrupted due to the Eid holiday. It will resume on Saturday in accordance with the new prices,” said Biswajit Saha, director of City Group.

Mohammad Ali Bhutto, Senior Vice President of Moulvibazar Unit of Edible Oil Wholesalers Association of Bangladesh, however, said the situation will normalize after Sunday as they have to transfer money through banks to get the products. .

Bulk soybean oil is poured into bottles to be measured at a shop in Karwan Bazar on Thursday, May 5, 2022. Photo: Asif Mahmud Ove

Bulk soybean oil is poured into bottles to be measured at a shop in Karwan Bazar on Thursday, May 5, 2022. Photo: Asif Mahmud Ove

“I think the supply will be completely normal by the middle of next week,” he said.

He also said he hoped prices would be reduced as the global market began to calm down.

Bipul Chandra Mistri, which supplies oil to several markets in Dhaka, said it would start hitting the mills on Saturday. Bipul got the oil from the mills for the last time 12 days before Eid.

The Democratic Left Alliance condemned the cooking oil price hike in a statement, alleging the government allowed companies to raise prices by creating a crisis through market manipulation. “This [oil price hike] will add to the suffering of the people.

He also said that companies never cut prices after raising them, even when world prices go down.

He demanded that the government take measures, such as subsidies, to keep commodity prices within reach of the people.