Groundnut oil prices surge on raw material supply chain disruption

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Published: April 3, 2020 8:59:12 AM

“Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs) across Gujarat are closed or functioning partially. There has been dearth of labourers. Due to inadequate transport facilities, farmers too are not able to bring groundnut to markets,” said Samir Shah, president of Saurashtra Oil Mills Association (SOMA).

Groundnut oil prices, grounnut oil mills in Gujarat, groundnut oil industry, Nafed, SOMASources in the groundnut oil industry confirmed that in a span of last fortnight, prices of groundnut have almost touched Rs 2,300 per 15 litre of tin from around Rs 2,100.

he outbreak of Covid-19 has broken the supply chain of raw material for groundnut oil mills in Gujarat and as a result, price of groundnut oil is constantly increasing over the past fortnight. Sources in the groundnut oil industry confirmed that in a span of last fortnight, prices of groundnut have almost touched Rs 2,300 per 15 litre of tin from around Rs 2,100. If the current situation prolongs, it may even cross Rs 2,500 mark by the end of April.

“Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs) across Gujarat are closed or functioning partially. There has been dearth of labourers. Due to inadequate transport facilities, farmers too are not able to bring groundnut to markets,” said Samir Shah, president of Saurashtra Oil Mills Association (SOMA).

Since November 2019, National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited (Nafed) is purchasing groundnut from farmers. As a result of this buying, Nafed has stock of nearly 6 lakh tonne of groundnut in warehouses situated in the different part of Gujarat, especially in Saurashtra region.

According to Shah, Nafed has stopped releasing groundnut stock to oil millers and traders following nationwide lockdown announced by Prime Minister to curb spread of coronavirus. “We respect the call given by the Prime Minister, but at the same time edible oil mills should also continue for the supply of different oils including that of groundnut oil. SOMA has requested Nafed to restore selling of groundnut to pacify increasing demand of groundnut oil,” he added.

On the other hand, Nafed too is facing difficulties to release groundnut stock as the officials are finding it difficult to engage labourers in such pandemic situation. Similarly, of the 200 odd groundnut crushing mill, only those mills are functioning which have some stock of raw material (groundnut). Shah claimed that only 40 to 50 such oil mills are running that too at below 50% of their installed capacities and others are forced to shut their production in wake of raw material and labour shortage.

During the third week of December groundnut oil prices were hovering around `1,900 and it took almost couple of months to cross `2000-mark despite exports of groundnut and
its derivatives.

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