A significant decline in prices of essential pulses and edible oils has been recorded this month giving a respite to consumers reeling under financial constraints due to the ongoing pandemic.
As per the data from the Department of Consumer Affairs, the prices of edible oils have come down by as much as one-fifth as compared to the last month.
Palm oil that costed Rs 142 per kg on May 07 has come down to Rs 115 per kg, recording a drop of 19%. Sunflower oil costed Rs 188 per kg on May 05 has dropped by 16% and now available at Rs 157 per kg. Similarly, Soya oil now costs Rs 138 per kg which costed Rs 162 per kg on May 20, a drop of 15% in the prices.
The report also suggested a decline of 10% in the prices of Mustard oil and 8% in Groundnut oil as compared to the last month.
Edible oil prices witness a hike globally
As per a Times of India report, hindrances in the global production of key oilseeds coupled with rising biodiesel use have fuelled the global vegoil rally.
Prices of palm oil, the most widely consumed edible oil, rallied 18% in 2020 after Covid-19 lockdowns curbed output from Southeast Asia plantations.
Additionally, poor rapeseed and sunflower seed harvests in Europe and the Black Sea region further tightened edible oil supplies, thereby, aiding an increase in global food prices to 10-year highs last month.
As the top edible oil importer and the third-biggest import item for India after crude oil and gold, the domestic prices of the oils witnessed a surge.
Steps taken by government
The government apart from considering reducing taxes on vegetable oil imports after cooking oil prices hit record highs last month, is also working at promoting domestic production of oil crops.
Domestic oilseed production is unable to keep pace with the demand, as farmers in India prefer to grow grains like rice and wheat, the price of which is guaranteed by the government.
However, the government is expected to announce incentives for farmers willing to expand in the production of oilseed.
Prices of pulses see a decline
The Department of Consumer Affairs also revealed that the retail prices of pulses have shown a declining trend.
The price of Tur Dal which was Rs 120 per kg on May 01 has come down to Rs 110 per kg in Delhi, thereby, recording a drop of 8%. Whereas the price of packed Moong Dal which was Rs 110 per kg on May 16 is down to Rs 102 per kg in Delhi.