Retail edible oil prices soften on global slump

Written by Sandip Das | New Delhi | Updated: Dec 31 2008, 07:57am hrs
At last there is some good news for consumers of edible oil in the country. For the past four months, the retail prices of the packaged edible oil have shown a declining trend. According to industry sources, the retail prices of various edible oil brands in the market have declined in the range of 20% - 25%. The retail prices of refined soya bean oil has declined from Rs 88-90 a litre in July 2008 to Rs 74-76 a litre at present in the Delhi retail market.

The price of other widely-used refined oils made out of mixing palmolein and soya bean oil (also known as vegetable oil) has also dropped from Rs 78-Rs 80 per litre in July to Rs 68 - Rs70. As India imports around half of its annual edible oil consumption, of over 11 million tones edible oil, the decrease in prices of imported edible oil like RBD palmolein, soya bean oil and sunflower oil is reflecting on retail prices. We have passed on the decline in international edible oil prices to the consumers. However, the appreciation of the rupee against the dollar has killed any possibility of further passing on the decline, an official with an edible oil marketing company told FE.

According to recent data released by the Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEAI), global prices of CPO, RBD palmolein, soya bean oil and sunflower oil prices have gone down in range of $200 per tonne to $370 per tonne. The price of RBD palmolein at Indian ports, which was $800 per tonne on September 15, eventually declined significantly to $555 on October 31, went up marginally to $580 per tonne on December 12, SEAI said.

In the case of crude palm oil, prices went down from $700 a tonne on September 15, to $490 per tonne on December 1. Industry watchers expect prices of edible oil to further decline on the back of higher global oilseed production and higher stocks of Malaysian palm oil. Ashok Sethia, president, SEAI, said that oilseed production was more or less stagnant and led to higher import of edible oil on a year-on-year basis.