“The past few months have been very troublesome for Indian edible oil consumers due to very high international prices of all oils like palm, soya and sunflower,” SEA President Atul Chaturvedi said in a statement.
He said the SEA had advised its members before Diwali to reduce the prices as much as possible. He said that the Center has also reduced the import duty on edible oils.
Chaturvedi said, “We are happy to confirm that due to several measures, the price of edible oil has come down by about Rs 8-10 per kg in the last 30 days.”
SEA said that its members have been taking prompt steps in the past to pass on the benefits of lower prices to the consumers.
The SEA President said that its members have agreed to pass on the benefits of low cost of oil to the consumers. We feel that the prices will be further reduced by about Rs 3-4 per kg by our members in the near future. This should provide relief to our edible oil consumers during the festive season.
With around 1.2 million tonnes of soybean crop and over 8 million tonnes of groundnut crop, Chaturvedi expressed hope that the prices of edible oils will now be under control.
He said that the demand for mustard oil cake is so high that the supply situation has improved as farmers get good prices and they (farmers) have sown the highest ever area (about 77.62 lakh hectares). This figure is about 30 percent more than before and the availability of domestic mustard oil may increase by eight to 10 lakh tonnes in the coming year.
Chaturvedi said the global trend in edible oil prices is “relatively bearish and we expect prices to continue to slide”.
According to the SEA, India’s dependence on imports of edible oils accounts for about 65 per cent of the total consumption of about 22-225 million tonnes. India imports 13-15 million tonnes of edible oil to bridge the gap between demand and domestic supply.
During the last two marketing years (November to October) due to the pandemic, imports have come down to around 13 million tonnes.
SEA had said last month, “In the year 2019-20, the imports had come down to around Rs 71,600 crore or 132 million tonnes. In the year 2020-21, India imported edible oils in equal quantity, but due to increase in international prices, the import expenditure increased by 63 percent to an all-time high of Rs 1.17 lakh crore.