NEW DELHI: There has been a sharp rise in retail prices of edible oils during this year, highest since 2016 on a year-on-year basis, the food and consumer affairs ministry informed the Rajya Sabha on Friday. The data on the prices of six edible oils submitted to the Upper House show that the maximum increase this year has been in the case of sunflower oil (40.6%), followed by soyabean (37%) and palmolin (35.3%) as compared to the prices of 2020.

The ministry said the retail price of mustard oil has increased by 29% during this year compared to 2020 and the price of groundnut oil has gone up by 17% during this period. The price of vanaspati has increased by 35%.

On the reasons for shooting up of prices during the Corona period, the ministry said, “The prices of edible oils are inter-alia affected by mismatch in demand and supply, increase in the international prices of edible oils, shortfall in domestic production owing to adverse weather conditions, seasonality, increased transportation costs and supply chain constraints.”

Responding to a question on whether the common man is able to consume sufficient quantities of edible oil in his daily meals, keeping in view such high prices, the ministry said, “Due to improvement in the living standards of the people, the demand for edible oils has been increasing. The per capita consumption of edible oils has increased from 19.5 kg per annum in 2018-19 to 19.7 kg in 20l9-20.”

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