New Delhi: With slashing of import duty on edible oils, the commodity has become cheaper by Rs10-15 a kg in the domestic wholesale market, but experts have cautioned that the trend may not continue for long as there is speculation that global prices could rise after two months.
The duty cuts have spiked the sentiments of private players to place more orders for the coming months, but they cannot bargain in the international market at current levels because prices are expected to surge after June, experts said.
“Currently, edible oil prices are stable in the international market. However, traders are speculating that they may rise after June,” an apex body for vegetable oils, Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA), said. Prices of most imported edible oils were stable in April compared with March. Imported RBD (refined bleached deoderised) palmolein slipped 6.29% to Rs53,600 a tonne for the week ended 25 April, against Rs57,200 a tonne in the same period of the previous month, SEA executive director B.V. Mehta said.
Similarly, crude palm oil rates dipped 11% to Rs46,000 a tonne from the previous month. Groundnut oil prices came down 7.75% to Rs65,500 a tonne from Rs71,000 a tonne, while sunflower oil slumped 17.39% to Rs57,000 a tonne from Rs69,000 a tonne.
After the government’s decision to cut duty on edible oil imports, overseas purchases have become comparatively cheaper than earlier. As a result, prices of some edible oils such as mustard oil and soya oil softened in the domestic market, giving some relief to consumers who are reeling under high prices of food items.
The government had, on 31 March, made imports of crude edible oils duty-free and cut the duties on refined vegetable oils to 7.5% to increase the domestic supply.