Cooking oil price stays, for now

This is written by my colleague at general newsdesk Patrick Sennyah.

PETALING JAYA: The price of cooking oil will remain the same, for now. Deputy Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Tan Lian Hoe said the current shortage was mainly caused by panic buying, following rumours of an impending price increase.

"There is enough cooking oil in the country. I hope consumers will not listen to rumours. There will be no price increase unless it is recommended by the Cabinet," she said after a visit to the Tesco hypermarket in Mutiara Damansara, near here.

Tan said steps were being taken to get the Malaysian Palm Oil Board to speed up distribution of cooking oil to all retail outlets.

Cooking oil is a price-controlled item. She said her ministry is monitoring the situation closely. Traders, found to jack up the price of cooking oil, will be charged under the Anti-Profiteering Act.

Tan also said it was crucial for consumers to support the move to reduce the use of plastic bags instead of complaining about the ban on their use on Saturdays. She said on average, Malaysians use eight billion plastic bags a year and the staggering price of petroleum was causing a huge increase in the production cost of plastic bags.

In Seremban, the state Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Department said it will distribute more cooking oil to various districts following shortage complaints. Its director, Norashiken Ishak, said this was to ensure consumers received sufficient supply and not be forced to purchase cooking oil at high prices from unscrupulous traders.

"About 12,000kg of cooking oil will be distributed to five main wholesalers before it is channelled to retailers state-wide. Our focus, however, will be on areas where there is a serious shortage, such as Seremban, Port Dickson, Rembau and Bahau in Jempol," she said.

Although the situation in the state is under control, the department has received reports that some traders are hoarding their supplies so as to cash in later. "We will take action against those found increasing their prices and also hoarding," Norashiken said, adding that the shortage in supply was because producers had failed to meet the increasing demand since early last month.

2 Responses to Cooking oil price stays, for now

  1. well palm oil prices have gone upto the level of 2008 and with the growing price, I guess people who saw the collapse of 2008 would be trading caution and have a feeling that price has to come down in the near term as the raining season is going away n with ample of fruit to be harvest we would see a surge in production n china already had bought there share for the chinese new year guess the market is bound to go down....

  2. Wah...maybe there could be a spate of defaults again if prices were to free fall like from July-Nov 2008. So scaaaarrrryy....

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