New Delhi: In the exclusive focus on petroleum prices over the past few weeks, another factor driving up retail inflation has largely been missed — edible oils.
The June retail inflation figure was at 6.26 per cent — above the Reserve Bank of India’s target of 6 per cent. While fuel inflation was 12.68 per cent during the month, edible oil inflation was at 34.78 per cent.
The prices of edible oil have been driving up inflation for the past few months.
Whether it is oils like mustard, groundnut or palm, which are consumed domestically, or commercially used soybean and sunflower oils, these edible oils have seen a sharp rise in prices in the last six months despite government efforts to cool off rates by reducing high tax levies.
This particular segment started seeing inflation with a surge in prices of imported edible oils, particularly palm oil, which touched its highest price in more than a decade. Other major imported edible oils such as soybean and sunflower oil followed closely, with their retail prices swaying beyond Rs 150/kg, according to the Department of Consumer Affairs.
The jump in edible oil prices has pushed up food and other inflation in the country.
This can be gauged from the fact that the price of vanaspati, a cheaper substitute for ghee or butter derived from palm oil and mostly consumed by low-income families in the country for frying and cooking, has doubled to Rs 140/kg on 1 July 2021 from Rs 72/kg on 1 July 2020.
The prices of a variety of products derived from edible oil, primarily palm oil, such as commercial instant food items like chips and instant noodles, pizza dough, shaving cream, toothpaste, lotions, lipsticks and other personal care and cosmetics items have also risen in the same measure.
vanaspati is made from palm oil as well
2 cheapest vege oil are vanaspati and palm oil