KATHMANDU, March 13: In a bid to save face from the growing criticism, Nepal Vegetable Ghee and Oil Manufacturers’ Association (NVGOMA) has said that the current hike in prices of edible oils is due to the rise in prices of raw materials in the international market.
Issuing a public statement, the association that incorporates 22 manufacturers of edible oils, however, assured that there won’t be a shortage of cooking oil in the domestic market despite the odds that have been created due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. According to the NVGOMA, the prices of raw materials have escalated by up to 50 percent in the international market.
On the pretext of the growing conflict between Ukraine and Russia, the prices of cooking oils have already surged by up to Rs 30-40 per liter. An attendant of the Salesberry Department Store, Baluwatar, said the price could rise further in the new lot of the cooking oils.
Local oil manufacturers import raw materials like crude soybean oil, crude palm oil and mustard seed from countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Australia and Ukraine, among others. According to the NVGOMA, almost all the crude sunflower oil and up to 80 percent of the mustard seed needed to supply oil in the domestic market are imported from Ukraine.
While the oil producers have been blaming the disruption in supply chain for the surging prices of cooking oils in the past few days, consumers have already started feeling the heat of soaring kitchen expenses, which has been suspected to be a manipulation by the traders concerned. “Traders raised the price of imported corn oil by almost Rs 900 per pack just the next day of the commencement of the Russia-Ukraine war,” said Damodar Shrestha, a resident from Lazimpat, Kathmandu.