9/11/2007 (The International News), KARACHI - Just before the advent of the holy month of Ramazan, packers of edible oil in the country have increased the prices of their brands irrationally without any fear of the government check by almost Rs40-Rs50 for the five liter packs.
Edible Oil suppliers in the retail market have increased the prices of their brands irrespective of the fact that prices of the edible oil in the international market are going down since the first week of August.
In Kuala Lumpur, prices of crude palm oil was tumbling down by around $50 per tonne at the end of the first week of September as compared to the prices ruling at the end of first week of August.
In September, prices are expected to go further down as this month is considered peak production period. Prices of Refined, Bleached and Deodour (RBD) palm oil were ruling at Rs2,720 for 40 kg and RBD palm olein at Rs2,710 for 40 kgs in the wholesale market in Karachi on Monday, increased by Rs5 as compared to the prices quoted in the first week of August and Rs70 as compared to the prices ruling in the first week of July.
A steep continuous increase in the prices of all brands in the retail market is surprising, an importer told The News while commenting on the situation. Majority of the suppliers in the retail market just have been packing the imported RBD oil without any value addition or further processing and minting a lot of money without any checking, he said.
During the holy month of Ramadan, use of fried snacks and other things have been increased by manifold and thus the consumption of the edible oil has increased by around five times of the normal consumption.
To meet the demand in the holy month of Ramadan, Pakistan has imported 77,446 tonnes of edible from Malaysia in July, increased by 18,996 toones (32.47 per cent) over the figures of previous month.
Pakistan is producing about 1.8 million tonnes of Banaspati Ghee and Cooking oil annually. It annually imports 1.4 to 1.5 million tonnes of edible oil out of which over one million tonnes is imported from Malaysia in the form of Palm Oil. Malaysia exports over 9 million tonnes of palm oil annually. The biggest importer is India (2.5 to 3 million tonnes) followed by European Union, which imports about 1.3 million tonnes annually.
Malaysia currently accounts for 51 per cent of world palm oil production and 35 per cent of world exports, and therefore also for 8 per cent and 22 per cent of the world’s total production and exports of oils and fats.