Now, edible oils may burn a hole in your pocket

(IANS) After onions, the prices of edible oils have started surging as the bio-fuel programs in Malaysia and Indonesia have increased the consumption of palm oil in those countries leading to a spike in its price. India, which is a big importer, will also be hit as it will have to pay more putting an extra burden on the consumer.

Moreover, low productivity and heavy rainfall damage to crops in India have added to the consumers” woes.

Crude palm oil has witnessed a more than 26 percent rise in its price in the last two months. Mustard prices soared to Rs 300 per quintal and soybean rates jumped to around Rs 400 per quintal.

According to experts, heavy rain damaged the Kharif oilseeds, especially soybean. With sowing being slow in the current rabi season it has triggered an upward trend in oil and oilseeds prices in the domestic market.

Secondly, the bio-fuel programs in Malaysia and Indonesia are supporting the soaring prices.

However, Executive Director of Solvent Extractor’s Association of India, B.V. Mehta said: “Increased prices will fetch good earning for the farmers. This will surely boost their interest in growing this crop that will lower the country’s dependency on imports.”

“Usually, farmers don’t get a good price for oilseeds which deters them from cultivating these crops,” he said.

The December contract for Crude Palm Oil (CPO) was Rs 544.5 per 10 kg on October 4 at the country’s biggest futures market Multi-Commodity Exchange (MCX) that recorded it at Rs 691.40 per 10 kg on Thursday.

The futures price of soybean at the biggest market for agricultural products, the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange or NCDX, was recorded at more than 4,100 per quintal on Thursday which was Rs 3,711 per quintal on October 7.

The price of refined soya oil was Rs 759.75 per 10 kg at the NCDX on October 7 while it jumped to Rs 829 per quintal on December 5.

The December contract of mustard at the NCDX was Rs 4,065 per quintal on October 4 while it was trending at Rs 4,388 per quintal on Thursday.

Oil market expert Salil Jain said: “A survey suggests that the Malaysia palm oil stock for the month of November is estimated at around 8.5 percent less at 21.5 lakh tonnes”.

“Oil and oilseeds prices may go up in the coming days,” he said.

India is the biggest importer of edible oil in the world. In the previous season of 2018-19 (November-October), India had imported more than 155 lakh tonnes of vegetable oil out of which 149.13 lakh tonnes were edible oil.

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