Yangon palm oil wholesale reference price soars by over K360 per viss compared to last week

The wholesale reference rate of palm oil for the Yangon market was set at K4,524 per viss for the week ending 17 September, showing an increase of K364 per viss recorded last week, according to the Supervisory Committee on edible oil import and distribution.
The wholesale price was set at K4,160 per viss for a week from 4 to 10 September.
The Supervisory Committee on edible oil import and distribution under the Ministry of Commerce has been closely observing the FOB prices in Malaysia and Indonesia including transport costs, tariffs and banking services to issue the wholesale market reference rate for edible oil weekly.
Yet, the market price was higher than the reference price.
To tackle the overcharging, the Consumer Affairs Department under the Ministry of Commerce apprised the consumers of lodging complaints for overcharging through the Call Centre’s Hotline in late August. The department urged consumers not to buy palm oil at high prices.
The Department is making concerted efforts to steer the high volatility in palm oil prices in the retail market and offer fairer prices to the consumers, in coordination with the Myanmar Edible Oil Dealers Association and oil importing companies.
The complaints for overcharging can be lodged over Hotline: 1535 of the Call Centre of the Consumers Affairs Department or sent to the Facebook Page of the department and the pages of the region and state departments concerned.
The coordination meeting for edible oil price stability was held on 30 August at the Ministry of Commerce (Office No 3). Union Minister U Aung Naing Oo for the Commerce gave the remark that the State provided a cheaper way to buy foreign currency to the edible oil sector by allowing the importers to buy 50 per cent of the total cost of imported palm oil at the reference exchange rate of the Central Bank of Myanmar and the remaining at the best rate. Furthermore, the CBM also stepped up to deal with foreign currency shortages for edible oil importers.
Afterwards, Union Minister U Aung Naing Oo elaborated on how the Commerce Ministry issues the wholesale reference price every week. However, the market price is exorbitantly high. He found that consumers are not able to access the subsidy scheme. Therefore, the Union minister warned the businesspersons in Yangon on 1 July to set a reasonable price. He called on them to prioritize the consumers’ interests, not for self-interest only.
Additionally, the Union minister encouraged all the stakeholders in the supply chain to cooperate with the ministry to reduce the palm oil prices in the coming days as the ministry would try to achieve the meeting outcomes practically.
A task force for edible oil price stability was formed and started informing the lists of wholesale/retail shops of each company from 28 August, including the address of the shops in the respective townships and the number of available barrels.
The task force will govern the market to meet the satisfaction of the end-users in the supply chain and get easy access to the consumers. It will also supervise the market to ensure that palm oil sales at wholesale prices are not higher than two per cent of the net profit margin and retail prices are not higher than the 10 per cent margin.
The domestic consumption of palm oil is estimated at one million tonnes per year. The local palm oil production is just about 400,000 tonnes. To meet the domestic demands, about 700,000 tonnes of palm oil are yearly imported through Malaysia and Indonesia. — NN/EM

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