ISLAMABAD: The prices of ghee and edible oil have started to ease in the international markets amid the harvest of fresh palm oil crops in Malaysia and Indonesia. However, the impact is yet to be felt locally while investors are hoarding stocks ahead of the upcoming budget.
Key players in the supply chain have accumulated stocks of finished products as wholesale markets in Karachi and Lahore are rife with rumours that the government is likely to introduce Additional Customs Duty on the import of palm oil and palm olein.
“Those who can afford (to hold onto stocks) are anticipating to bag huge profits through the inventory gains,” said Fareed Qureshi, chairman of the Karachi Retail Grocers Group. “However, things will be clear after the budget announcement and in both the cases supplies will increase,” he added.
Currently, per kilogram and per litre price of branded ghee and cooking oil, respectively, is between Rs320-330, while that of unbranded category is pegged between Rs270-320.
Mr Qureshi acknowledged that the prices were easing and the rate of cheapest unbranded ghee and oil has slipped by Rs10 per kg/litre in two weeks.
Meanwhile, ghee manufacturers say that supply side has improved significantly and the international palm oil and palm olein prices are declining gradually.
“The average palm oil rate has reached to $1,125 per tonne against $1,250 around two weeks back,” said Pakistan Vanaspati Manufacturers Association (PVMA) Chairman Abdul Waheed Chairman. The average ex-factory price of cooking oil is Rs265 per litre as all the supply stress has passed off, he added.
Published in Dawn, June 8th, 2021