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Govt Holds Discussions With Oil Producers Association to Reduce Edible Oil Prices

The Department of Food & Public Distribution diligently monitors and reviews the prices of edible oils in the country, intervening whenever necessary to ensure the affordability of this essential dietary component.

Shivam Dwivedi
Govt Holds 2nd Meeting with Leading Oil Producers Association to Discuss Reduction in Edible Oil Prices (Photo Source: Pixabay)
Govt Holds 2nd Meeting with Leading Oil Producers Association to Discuss Reduction in Edible Oil Prices (Photo Source: Pixabay)

In an effort to address the decreasing trend in domestic prices, Sanjeev Chopra, Secretary of the Department of Food and Public Distribution, held a second meeting with leading industry representatives in New Delhi on June 2.

The meeting included key participants such as the Solvent Extraction Association of India (SEAI) and the Indian Vegetable Oil Producers' Association (IVPA). The objective of the meeting was to discuss further reductions in the retail prices of edible oils, taking into account the continued fall in global prices. This marks the second meeting within a month between the Department of Food and Public Distribution and industry representatives.

During the meeting, industry representatives highlighted that global prices of various edible oils have dropped by USD 150-200 per tonne over the past two months. They also informed that they have already reduced the maximum retail price (MRP) and plan to further decrease it in the near future. However, there may be a time lag before these reductions fully reflect in the retail markets, and consumers can expect further decreases in prices soon.

Earlier, the Department had convened a meeting with leading edible oil associations, resulting in a decrease of Rs. 5-15 per litre in the MRP of refined sunflower oils and refined soybean oil for major brands over the course of a month. Similar decreases have been observed for mustard oil and other edible oils as well.

These price reductions were made possible due to the decline in international prices and a reduction in import duties on edible oils, making them more affordable. The industry was advised to ensure that the benefits of reduced international prices are passed on to consumers without delay.

In today's meeting, it was emphasized that the declining trend in international prices of imported edible oils should be reflected in the domestic market. It was urged that the edible oil industry takes immediate action to reduce the MRP of major edible oils by an additional Rs. 8-12 per litre. Manufacturers and refiners were also advised to lower prices for distributors promptly, ensuring that the price drop is not diluted in any way.

Furthermore, the industry was urged to inform the Department regularly whenever a reduction in prices to distributors is implemented so that the benefit can be passed on to consumers. Companies that have not yet reduced their prices, and whose MRPs are higher than other brands, have also been advised to reduce their prices. The meeting also addressed issues related to price data collection and packaging of edible oils. With the continuous downward trend in edible oil prices, consumers in India can expect to pay less for their cooking oils. These falling prices will contribute to cooling inflation fears.

Throughout 2021-22, both international and domestic prices of edible oils experienced an upward swing due to various geopolitical factors and increased input and logistic costs. However, since mid-June 2022, international prices have been falling, and this decrease is gradually being reflected in the domestic market. The Government believes that associations can further reduce prices, providing relief to consumers.

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