Soybean oil refining and marketing companies have placed a proposal to the government to increase the price of the essential cooking ingredient by Tk20 per litre, citing their high import costs and the soaring value of the dollar.
The proposal came just weeks after the government reduced prices Tk14 a litre at the retail level, following a price drop in the international market.
However, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi has said "Prices will not be increased at this moment and we will take a decision on this after careful consideration of the situation."
"We have instructed the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection to monitor the market so that the price of daily essential products such as oil cannot go up on the pretext of an increase in fuel oil prices" he said, responding to questions from journalists after an event organised by the Bangladesh Federation of Chambers and Commerce and Industry (FBCCI).
In its recent proposal to the Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission, the Bangladesh Vegetable Oil Refiners and Vanaspati Manufacturers Association wants the price of a litre of loose soybean oil to be raised to Tk180, for one-litre bottle to Tk205, and a five-litre bottle to Tk960.
Currently, the retail price per litre of loose soybean oil is Tk166, the one-litre bottle is Tk185, and the five-litre bottle is Tk910.
Although the edible oil price cut was announced in the middle of last month, it took at least two weeks for that to come into effect.
Md Shafiul Ather Taslim, director of finance and operations at the TK Group, told The Business Standard, "We are already under pressure with the cost of imports because of the soaring dollar and the oil which is now going to the market was more expensive as we bought it when the price rose above $1,800 per tonne in the world market."
"As such, coordination is a must," he added.
The necessary review should be done every 15 days, said the TK Group director.