The government has set the maximum retail prices of soybean oil and palm oil to ease volatility in the edible oil market.
From now on, bottled soybean oil cannot be sold for over Tk135 per litre, and the non-bottled one for over Tk115 per litre.
The maximum retail price of a five-litre bottle has been set at Tk630, and that of non-bottled palm oil at Tk104 per litre.
The prices were set at a meeting of the National Committee on Essential Products Marketing and Distributors. The meeting was held in the conference room of the commerce ministry on Wednesday.
At present, bottled soybean oil is sold at a maximum price of Tk140 per litre, and the non-bottled one is Tk120 per litre.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said edible oil sales at the prices set by the committee will be ensured.
Edible oil prices on the international market jumped by 65% in the last six months, causing oil prices to rise rapidly in Bangladesh. Considering this, the national committee set the prices.
More than 90% of edible oil used in the country is imported while the annual demand is about 20 lakh tonnes.
At the meeting, Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission's Assistant Chief Md Mahmudul Hasan gave a presentation on the overall situation of the edible oil market and the pricing method.
He presented on a uniform edible oil pricing method and said it will always be used to determine prices.
As per the method, the average price of opening a letter of credit (LC) in the previous month and that of seven days of enrolment and delivery in the bonded warehouse must be averaged. The mill gate price then has to be determined by adding taxes and refining expenses to that price.
The method asked to set profits at 2% at the producer level, Tk4 at the distributor level and up to Tk8 per litre at the retailer level. To this, producers will be able to add Tk15 for a one-litre bottle and Tk50 for a five-litre one.
The commerce minister said adequate stocks must be ensured ahead of Ramadan so that there is no shortage of essential commodities.
He said the government will provide all necessary assistance to this end.
In addition, edible oil prices will be re-determined in line with international market prices by holding regular meetings, added Tipu.
The National Price Monitoring and Determination Committee, headed by the tariff commission chairman, is working to keep prices and the supply of essential commodities stable. It recommended the National Committee on Essential Products Marketing and Distributors set oil prices as per the uniform pricing method.
The meeting said edible oil prices on the Bangladeshi market are much lower than those in neighbouring countries. But if the price difference becomes large, there is a possibility that oil will be smuggled.
The government is working to ensure oil supply at reasonable prices ahead of Ramadan, the meeting added.