The government has urged cooking oil firms to align their product prices with the decline in international rates, as reported by the Association of solvent extractors. However, manufacturers have expressed that an immediate reduction may be challenging to implement.
Industry leaders have indicated that adjustments in retail prices may not be feasible until March, coinciding with the commencement of the mustard crop harvest, as per a report by the Economic Times.
Ajay Jhunjhunwala, president of the Solvent Extractors' Association of India, conveyed in a letter to association members on Tuesday that the Ministry of Consumer Affairs has stated that the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) of oils such as soybean, sunflower, and palm oil has not been decreased in proportion to the decline in international prices.
Industry executives, such as Angshu Mallick, CEO of Adani Wilmar, have expressed that an immediate reduction in cooking oil prices is unlikely. Mallick highlighted the stability of cooking oil prices, stating that corrections to Maximum Retail Prices (MRP) are made monthly in alignment with prevailing trends. He added that while they continually monitor international commodity prices, immediate price adjustments are not anticipated. Observing a 10 per cent decline in December, Sandeep Bajoria, CEO of the vegetable oil brokerage Sunvin Group, pointed out that prices have risen by 8 per cent in January.
Executives indicated that the majority of companies would have the capacity to reduce prices by only 3-4 per cent.
India had announced last week that it will extend the lower-duty import of edible oil until March 2025, aiming to curb local prices as the world's largest importer of vegetable oil.