KATHMANDU, June 7: Prices of edible oils have skyrocketed in recent days, which according to the traders is due to an increase in the price of raw materials in the international market.
As per retailers, edible oils have been dearer by up to Rs 100 per liter in the past four months. Ashok Subedi, a retailer in Panipokhari, Kathmandu, said the price of mustard oil has increased from Rs 230 per liter to Rs 330 per liter over the period.
Similarly, the price of soybean oil has increased from Rs 125 per liter to Rs 225 per liter and that of sunflower oil has surged from Rs 210 per liter to Rs 300 per liter. Despite an excessive rise in prices, the Department of Commerce, Supplies and Consumer Protection—the main regulator to conduct market inspection—has remained a ‘mute spectator’ except for calling the big traders a few times for clarification.
Traders, on the other hand, have attributed the soaring price of raw materials in the international market as a cause behind the rise in the prices of edible oil in the domestic market. In an attempt to save face in this regard, Nepal Vegetable Ghee Oil Manufacturers Association (NVGOMA) last week issued a press release to justify the soaring price of the kitchen-need in the domestic market.
According to the association, the prices of raw materials for sunflower oil and soybean oil produced in Ukraine and Argentina have doubled in the past one year.
There are around two dozen edible oil producers operating across the country. Manufacturers import raw materials of edible oils from Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Canada and Ukraine, among others.
The NVGOMA has attributed disruption in supply from Haldia, India due to lockdown and elections in the southern neighbor, increase in prices of packaging materials and short supply triggered by under capacity production by the domestic firms as other reasons behind the increase in the prices of edible oil. However, the Association is silent over the increased prices of mustard oil in the domestic market.