The Commerce Ministry has set a maximum price for soybean and palm oil to avoid chaos in the open market. The announcement was made by Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi at a press conference after a meeting of the National Committee on Essential Products Marketing and Distributors at the Secretariat on Wednesday (February 18th) at noon.

The Commerce Minister said the price has been fixed in consultation with the editors and traders concerned. The month of Ramadan is ahead, there are enough stocks at present. The price has been determined after all the calculations.

He said the price of soybean (open) at the mill gate has been fixed at Tk 108, distributor at Tk 110 and retail price at Tk 115. Bottled soybean mill gate price is Tk 123 per liter, distributor price is Tk 128 and retail price is Tk 135. 5 liter bottled soybean mill gate price is 565 rupees, distributor price is 600 rupees and retail price is 625 rupees.

The minister said 80 per cent of the oil we use in our country is palm super, with a mill gate price (open) of Tk 95 per liter, a distributor price of Tk 98 and a retail price of Tk 104.

Mentioning that the price will be controlled by those who will disrupt the market even after that, the minister said that if the price goes down, it will be considered, if it goes up, it will be considered. We have to import 90 percent of the oil we use.

Recently, the supply of soybean and palm oil is less than the demand in the international market – on the pretext that the price of edible oil is rising in the domestic market. Edible oil prices are now at the highest level in the last 10 years. Soybean oil prices rose 9.52 percent in a month. The growth rate of the year is 12.20 percent. Soybean oil, which is priced at Tk 8 per liter, is now being sold at Tk 130 and Tk 115. No one has any explanation for such a difference in the price of the same product. According to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), the government’s marketing arm, soybean oil prices have risen by 24.32 per cent and palm oil by 22.64 per cent in the last one year.

The meeting was attended by Commerce Secretary Zafar Uddin, Citigroup Chairman Fazlur Rahman, edible oil importers and business leaders.