Costlier cooking oils hitting consumers badly
According to experts, retail prices of edible oils are likely to remain firm in the coming months and there is no sign of its cooling off in the wake of high global prices.
Prices of cooking oils — sunflower oil, groundnut oil, mustard oil, soya oil and vanaspati–have surged sharply in various parts of the country by upto 62 per cent as on January 14 from the year-ago period, according to the data maintained by the Consumer Affairs Ministry.
The maximum rise in retail prices was witnessed in sunflower oil, which rose by 62 per cent to Rs 110/kg in Delhi on January 14 from Rs 68/kg in the same day last year.
Whereas in Kolkata and Chennai sunflower oil prices during the period under review stood at Rs 75-85 a kilo, the data showed.
In Delhi, Soya oil prices increased by 43 per cent to Rs 83/kg from Rs 58/kg, while groundnut oil rose by 19 per cent to Rs 134/kg from Rs 113/kg during the review period.
In Kolkata the prices of the edible oil was ruling at Rs 68 a kg while groundnut oil stood at Rs 110 a kg in the retail market.
Similarly, mustard oil and vanaspati prices in the retail markets of Delhi have risen by upto Rs 21 to Rs 78/kg and Rs 77/kg, respectively.
A similar upward trend was seen in other metros as well.
Mumbai-based edible oil industry body Solvent Extractors Association Executive Director B V Mehta said, "Edible oils prices in the domestic market have gone up significantly from last year and may continue remain high in the next few months because of the global market."
Globally, prices of edible oils have increased by 15 per cent in the last one year, thus making imports costlier for India, the world`s biggest importer of edible oils, he said.
India imported 8.82 million tonnes of edible oils like palm oil, soya oil and sunflower oil in the 2009-10 crop year (November-October).
An edible oil expert said that sunflower oil prices have risen maximum because of the shortage of crop in Bulgaria.
Besides, the acreage under the crop in India has also come down, he added.
India imports largely edible oils in crude form and refines it for the domestic sale.
Food inflation still continue to remain high at 16.91 per cent for the week ended January 1.