Traders hiked soybean oil prices Tuesday for the fourth time this year thanks to spiralling rates of the item in the international market.
Customers will have to pay Tk160 per litre of bottled soybean oil in retail, according to the new rates to be effective immediately as determined by the Bangladesh Vegetable Oil Refiners & Vanaspati Manufacturers Association.
In the face of edible oil price hikes in the international market, the association said it has set the new prices after talking to the commerce ministry.
As per the new rates, the price of one litre bottled soybean oil has increased from Tk153 to Tk160, loose soybean from Tk129 to Tk136 and 5 litres bottled soybean from Tk728 to Tk760. Besides, palm oil prices have been fixed at Tk118 per litre.
Earlier on 15 October, bottled soybean oil prices were hiked by Tk4. However, traders at the time said that the rates had been adjusted with the Tk4 fall before Eid-ul-Fitr.
On 27 May 27, oil prices were increased by Tk9 per litre.
The country has a demand of 20 lakh tonnes of edible oil per year, and about 95% of the demand is met through imports, according to commerce ministry sources.
A commerce ministry meeting on Sunday discussed the current stock, import and prices of edible oil and sugar. At the meeting, top officials of edible oil refining companies were present.
At the meeting, edible oil refiners proposed to increase the prices of bottled soybean oil to Tk168 per litre. After verifying the proposal, the tariff commission recommended the oil prices at Tk162.
According to the commerce ministry, crude soybean oil prices in the international market have spiralled by 73.74% in one year.
In the meantime, sugar traders had proposed to the ministry to increase the price by Tk10 per kg. The ministry did not respond to the proposal, but the revenue board, on the recommendation of the ministry, recently announced a 10% duty cut on sugar.
The move, however, seems to have a little impact on the volatile sugar market as the item is now sold at Tk80-90 per kg. The government fixed prices are Tk74 per kg for non-brand and Tk75 per kg for branded sugar.