New Delhi ,
Edible oil prices have been on the rise for the last few years, causing a significant burden on the Indian consumers. However, there seems to be some good news on the horizon. In a recent meeting with leading industry representatives, Secretary DFPD, Shri Sanjeev Chopra, highlighted that the decline in the price of edible oil should be passed on to consumers expeditiously. The Department of Food & Public Distribution (DFPD) is closely monitoring the prices of edible oils in the country and taking steps to ensure their affordability. In this article, we will discuss the recent developments in the edible oil sector in India and what it means for consumers.
Edible Oil Prices in India
The prices of edible oils in India have been a major concern for consumers for the last few years. Due to various global factors, including higher input and logistic costs, the prices of edible oils in the international and domestic markets were on an upward swing during 2021-22. However, the scenario seems to have changed now. The global prices of different edible oils have fallen by USD 200-250 per tonne in the last two months. The Indian consumers can expect a further reduction in the prices of edible oils in the coming days.
DFPD’s Meeting with Industry Representatives
To discuss the reduction in retail prices of cooking oils amidst a fall in global prices, DFPD held a meeting with industry representatives. The Solvent Extraction Association of India (SEAI) and the Indian Vegetable Oil Producers’ Association (IVPA) were present in the meeting. The representatives informed that it takes time for the price decline to reflect in the retail markets. However, the retail prices of cooking oils are expected to come down shortly.
DFPD’s Advice to the Industry
The DFPD has advised the leading edible oil associations to take up the issue with their members immediately. They have been asked to ensure that the maximum retail price (MRP) of each oil is reduced in line with the decline in international prices of edible oils. The price to distributors (PTD) by the manufacturers and refiners also needs to be reduced with immediate effect so that the price decline is not diluted in any way. Whenever a reduction in the price to distributors is made by the manufacturers/refiners, the benefit should be passed on to the consumers by the industry. The Department should be kept informed on a regular basis in this regard.
Packaging of Edible Oils
Apart from the price issue, packaging of edible oils was also discussed in the meeting. The industry representatives were advised to ensure that the packaging of edible oils is of good quality and complies with the norms set by the government. Proper labeling of the oil containers is also essential to avoid confusion among consumers.
Passing on the Benefits to Consumers
Earlier also, in pursuance of the Department’s meetings with leading edible oil associations, the MRP of edible oils such as Sunflower Oil, Soyabean Oil, and Mustard Oil were reduced by the industry. The reduction in oil prices came in the wake of reduction of international prices and reduced import duty on edible oils, making them cheaper. The industry was advised to ensure that the complete benefit of the reduced duty is passed on to the consumers.
The DFPD has again emphasized the need for passing on the benefits of the price reduction to the consumers. Some companies which have not reduced their prices and their MRP is higher than other brands have also been advised to reduce their prices. The falling edible oil prices will help in cooling the inflation as well.