Govt fixes edible oil price to tame volatility
The government yesterday fixed edible oil prices to tame the volatility in the domestic market and curb price manipulation by a section of unscrupulous traders. The new price came into effect immediately. The price of loose soybean oil was fixed at Tk 115 per litre at the retail level, said Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi after a meeting with major refiners, importers, traders and wholesalers at the secretariat in Dhaka. The move came as loose soybean oil was selling at Tk 116-Tk 120 per litre at the retail level in the capital, up 3.5 per cent from Tk 112-Tk 116 a month ago. The price of non-branded soybean oil averaged Tk 87 per litre a year ago, meaning it surged 36 per cent now compared to a year earlier, market prices data compiled by state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh showed. Retail prices of branded soybean oil advanced 29 per cent year-on-year to Tk 130-Tk 140 per litre yesterday, the average price of which is equal to the government-fixed rate. The government set the price of five-litre branded soybean oil at Tk 630, which was higher than the average price of Tk 610. The price of super palm oil was set at Tk 104 per litre. he government-fixed rate for per litre bottled soybean oil is Tk 127 at the distributor level and Tk 123 at the mill gate. The price of five-litre bottled oil has been fixed at Tk 630 at the consumer level, Tk 610 at the distributor level, and Tk 590 at the mill gate. The government set the price of loose soybean oil at Tk 110 per litre at the distributor end and Tk 107 at the mill gate.
Govt to buy Tk 624cr LNG from Singapore firm
The government yesterday approved two proposals to buy a total of 67.2 lakh MMBTU liquified natural gas from spot market for Tk 623.64 crore to meet the growing demand for the super-chilled fuel. Vitol Asia Pte Ltd of Singapore will supply the fuel. The cabinet committee on purchase approved the proposals to buy the LNG from the spot market in a meeting. Under one of the proposals, Petrobangla, a corporation of the energy and mineral resources division, will buy 33,60,000 MMBTUs (million British thermal units) of LNG for about Tk 310.98 crore. Each MMBTU will cost $9.3123. The second proposal will see Petrobangla buy 33,60,000 MMBTU LNG for about Tk 312.65 crore. The fuel is priced at $9.3611 per MMBTU. In September last year, the government moved to the spot market for the first time to purchase the fuel at a cheaper rate. At the time, Vitol Asia won the work order to deliver 3,490,200 MMBTUs for Tk 132.93 crore. The S&P Global Platts JKM for February was assessed at a record high of $32.494 per MMBTU on January 12. This is the highest for the LNG benchmark for Asian spot LNG since it was launched in early 2009. In 2017, Bangladesh signed a 15-year contract with RasGas of Qatar, which would supply 2.5 million tonnes of LNG every year. The fuel is supplied at 12.65 per cent of the three-month average price of Brent oil plus $0.5 constant per MMBTU. The government has a 10-year LNG import deal with Oman Trading International. The LNG will be priced at 11.9 per cent of the three-month average price of Brent crude oil plus a constant price of 40 cents per MMBTU.
Prices of essentials rise ahead of Ramadan
Prices of many essential commodities, such as edible oil, chickpeas and sugar, have gone up at both retail and wholesale markets across Chattogram despite a rise in imports in the past three months. The development comes about two months ahead of the fasting month of Ramadan, when demand for these consumer goods goes up to a large extent. The wholesale price of soybean oil at Chattogram’s Khatunganj market, one of the country’s largest wholesale hubs, has increased by Tk 350 per maund (37.3 kilogrammes) to about Tk 4,500. Similarly, palm oil now costs around Tk 3,700 per maund, an increase of about Tk 100 to Tk 120. In retail markets, the price of bottled soybean oil has increased by Tk 10 to Tk 15 per kg to about Tk 132 while loose soybean has risen by Tk 10 Tk 12 per kg to about Tk 122 in the span of a month. The wholesale price of chickpeas has increased by Tk 450 per maund from that a month ago to around Tk 2,190. Similarly, dried peas sold for around Tk 1,490 per maund, an increase of about Tk 370. Retailers say that the price of chickpeas in the domestic market has increased by Tk 12 to Tk 15 per kg to roughly Tk 63 to Tk 70 while dried chickpeas by Tk 10 per kg to about Tk 43 to Tk 45. The price of another essential commodity — sugar — has soared to around Tk 2,290 per kg while it was Tk 2,050 a month back. According to data from Chattogram Custom House, more than 3.73 lakh tonnes of edible oil, including crude soya bean and refined palm oil, were imported through the Chattogram port in the three months preceding January, up from 3.59 lakh tonnes in the same period a year ago. Chickpea imports amounted to around 62,165 tonnes while the figure was 183,450 tonnes for the dried variety between November 2020 and January 2021, up from 63,120 tonnes and 162,034 tonnes respectively the year before.
Tk 569cr incentive disbursed to fish, livestock farmers
The fisheries and livestock ministry has handed over Tk 568.86 crore in cash incentive to 485,476 livestock and fish farmers who have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, Agriculture Minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque said yesterday. Some 407,402 livestock farmers and 78,074 fishermen received the incentive as a gift from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina through their mobile financial service and bank accounts. The government will continue supporting the farmers and entrepreneurs to ensure nutrition for the general mass and pull the marginalised people in the rural areas out of poverty. The government under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is taking and implementing timely steps with particular focus on the agriculture sector, helping the country become self-sufficient in granular foods.
ICCB gets new vice president
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Bangladesh has elected a new vice president. The post fell vacant with the passing of Latifur Rahman, chairman and CEO of Transcom Group, on 1 July 2020. The new VP, AK Azad, is the chairman and managing director of the Ha-Meem Group of Companies, president of Dhaka University Alumni Association and a director of Shahjalal Islami Bank.
Sarder Akhter Hamed new DMD of Bank Asia
Mr. Sarder Akhter Hamed has been promoted as Deputy Managing Director of Bank Asia Ltd. Mr. Hamed, a veteran in the Banking industry, joined Bank Asia in 2015 as Senior Executive Vice President. Mr. Hamed is an M.Com in Finance & Banking from the University of Dhaka.