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Bangladesh - Corporate - May 8, 2022

Soybean oil disappeared even after hiking prices

Golam Mostafa Jibon: Soybean oil has disappeared from the market due to tricks of a syndicate even after hiking prices that creates agitation among the consumers.
Though, the price of Soybean oil has reduced in the world market now, the anarchy over its price is going on across Bangladesh due to lack of proper monitoring by the authorities concerned, locals blamed.
Ordinary people have complained about the oil spill going on all over the country including the capital Dhaka. Retailers claimed that they are not getting adequate oil from dealers, while dealers said the company is not supplying oil to them as per demand. As a result, consumers are not getting Soybean oil in the market even after paying high prices.
During a spot visit to different markets including Karwan Baza’ar, Rampura and Hatirpul Baza’ar in the capital, this correspondent found that, most of the shops do not have soybean oil. Though, one liter packet of Soybean oil is available in small quantities in some shops, but the price is higher. Shopkeepers realize double price compared to the original rate. Two-three- and five-liter bottles are not available in the market.
Insiders said, rumorover price hike of soybean oil spread before the Eid-ul-Fitr. The traders then hid the oil in warehouses. Thousands of bottles of Soybean oil hidden inside shops in different markets including Karwan Baza’ar were recovered during several raids by the concerned consumer department.But, the situation deteriorated further after Eid. The cooking oil has gone disappeared from market surprisingly.
Ariful Islam, a buyer, whocame to Karwan Baza’ar from Hatirpool area in the capital yesterday, said, “I have been searching Soybean oil from shop to shop since before the Eid.But,I am yet to get a liter of oil. Now, I am frustrated. Finding no way, I have compelled to come Karwan Baza’ar to look for it.I can’t get oil here either.”
“It is very painful that, Soybean oil has gone disappeared from the market even after hiking prices. A section of traders has stopped selling of Soybean oil with a view to create an artificial crisisin the market in which they can make money by selling those with high prices. Meanwhile, most of the shops in Karwan Baza’ar were visited, but no Soybean oil was found,” he added.
A vendor of Haji Mizan Enterprise said, “There is no oil for two days before Eid. Buyers are coming to buy oil, but we can’t supply it.”
For more than a year now, the price of edible oil has been rising in the world market and Bangladesh has been importing the bulk portion of the Soybean oil compared to the demand. The supply situation deteriorated further after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in late February. Meanwhile, Indonesia, a major supplier of palm oil, announced its decision to suspend its oil exports, further boosting the market.
Before Eid, the price of oil was reduced by Tk 8 per liter after the withdrawal of all VAT and taxes on edible oil by keeping 5 per cent on imports. However, on Thursday, the first working day after Eid, it was announced to increase the price of bottled oil by Tk 38 per liter and open soybean oil by Tk 44 per liter.
The notification was issued by Bangladesh Vegetable Oil Refiners and Vegetable Manufacturers Association after a meeting of mill owners with the Commerce Secretary.
According to the new decision, the price of bottled soybean oil has been fixed at Tk 198 per liter and open soybean oil at Tk 180 per liter at the consumer level.
Besides, the price of five-liter bottled soybean oil has been fixed at Tk 985. At the same time palm oil price has been fixed at Tk 172 per liter.
Earlier, on March 21, bottled soybean oil was fixed at Tk 160 per liter and open oil at Tk 136 per liter.
According to the state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), soybean oil prices have risen by Tk80 in the last one year. On May 5, 2021, the price of bottled soybean was Tk 118.

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