One in two households is absorbing the impact of rising prices by dipping into their savings, and consumers have demanded government intervention on black marketing, hoarding, unfair trade practices and even capping of trade margins on edible oil, the report by community social media platform LocalCircles said.
This report said intervention of the government would ensure manufacturers don’t charge inflated prices from consumers. LocalCircles will escalate the findings of this study to stakeholders in the government, it added.
Prices of cooking oils including sunflower, peanut oil and canola have risen 50-70% over pre-Covid levels, escalated by the ongoing geopolitical tension.
The report said the price surge in edible oils continues to upset households’ budgets and consumption patterns. In December last year, the government reduced import duty on refined palm oil to 12.5% from 17.5% to rein in the prices of the commodity. But despite the average contribution of edibles oils’ inflation to overall food inflation declined to 1.3% from 3% in FY-21, prices of these commodities remained substantially higher than pre-pandemic levels.
With prices of edible oil having risen steeply over the last 12 months, half the households said they are consuming the same amount as before and paying more each month from savings. The report flagged that the rise in prices of edible oils is forcing low and middle income households to opt for cheaper and low-quality oils, which could potentially lead to health risks.