Cooking oil, ghee prices in Pakistan soar to all-time high despite drop in palm oil rate

Cooking oil ghee

The government has shocked the consumers by increasing ghee and cooking oil prices by an unprecedented Rs 208 and Rs 213 to an all-time high of Rs 555 per kg and Rs 605 per litter, respectively, although “these rates still do not exist in the retail markets.”

According to an official in the Utility Stores Corporation (USC), the corporation had issued a statement of this whooping jump in ghee and cooking oil prices effective June 1.

However, he did not comment on what reasons the rates had been jacked up so ruthlessly which would hit the consumers badly.

The highest rate of ghee and cooking of well-known brands in the retail markets still hovers between Rs 540-560 per kg/litre.

Read more: 44% Pakistanis disturbed over rising inflation and unemployment

Meanwhile, Umer Islam Khan, Secretary-General of Pakistan Vanaspati Manufacturers Association (PVMA) hinted that the retail rates of ghee and cooking oil would soon come in accordance with the USC prices.

He commented that ghee/cooking oil manufacturers have stopped giving the products on credit to the USC because the corporation had not cleared outstanding Rs 2-3 billion to the manufacturers.

Mr Umer added that the Prime Minister Task Force Committee on Supply of Palm Oil including officials of relevant ministries and PVMA office-bearers did not bother to conduct daily zoom meetings to investigate the demand and supply situation of palm oil.

Almost 160,000 tonnes of palm oil stocks are available at the twin ports of Karachi which are adequate for three weeks of consumption, he said. In spite of the removal of an export ban by Indonesia on palm oil on May 23, not even a single loaded vessel had been on the high seas or at Indonesia port for shipments to Pakistan.

However, the PVMA had appealed to the government to remove 2 percent additional customs duty on the palm oil import from Malaysia to balance the high cost of Malaysian palm oil which is 15-20 percent more expensive as compared to Indonesia’s.

While commenting on increasing freight charges, the USC official said in the circular issued by PVMA on May 27, that the members had been intimated to pay the transportation charges for their edible oil shipments to NLC/private tankers with a rise of only 22.5 percent after a hike of Rs 30 in diesel to Rs 174.67 per litre.

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