Prices of cooking oil on the upswing

The demand for sunflower oil remains high among middle income groups in Tiruchi.

The demand for sunflower oil remains high among middle income groups in Tiruchi.  


Despite a fall in demand, prices of cooking oil have gone up in the city over the past few days.

The price of popular cooking oils such as groundnut oil, sunflower oil and palm oil has risen following the enforcement of the prohibitory orders to check the spread of the novel corona virus. Traders attribute the rise in prices to problems in transportation, cost of production and labour wages during the lockdown period. Only gingelly oil, which is not in big demand, has been ruling steady, report city traders.

“Sunflower and palm oil are normally in high demand. While sunflower oil is used mostly in households, palm oil is largely used by tea stalls and hotels. The prices of both have gone up,” said A.P.Krishnamoorthy of a leading oil mill in the city.

Currently, sunflower oil is sold at around ₹100 a kg, up from ₹85, while the price of ground nut oil has touched ₹160 a kg against the pre-lockdown price of ₹135. The price of palm oil has risen by around ₹10 a kg and that of coconut oil by ₹5 a kg, he said. Prices of some of the products vary in the retail markets depending on the quality.

Surprisingly, the price of palm oil has increased even though the demand for palm oil has dipped sharply as hotels and tea stalls remain closed. The price of the oil has increased as there are no imports now, claimed a trader.

Big oil traders and mills buy sunflower oil in bulk from major oil companies and source palm oil from importers and refiners in Chennai. Coconut oil is sourced from Kangeyam and Tuticorin.

The demand for sunflower oil remains high among middle income groups. “There is a tendency among people to stock up in view of the lock down. Also the average consumption of families has also gone up as people are staying at home consuming home cooked food,” said R.Vasudevan, a trader in cooking oil in the Gandhi Market area.

Traders in the city, however, expect the prices to come down once the lockdown ends. Already supplies had eased, they said.

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Printable version | Jul 13, 2020 2:10:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/prices-of-cooking-oil-on-the-upswing/article31367619.ece

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