Soybean oil : “Shortages if the gvt refuses a 10 % increase of price”

This story is a perfect textbook of the dangers created by… any prices controls policy.

At one point, producers don’t have interest to produce and/or to serve the local market (where prices are maintained artificially low, if they can export at real prices, AKA higher prices).

The thai producers ask for an immediate 10 % increase per liter.

Producers of soybean oil yesterday urged the Commerce Ministry to allow an immediate price increase, or consumers could face shortages.

Companies are cutting production or turning to exports to take advantage of a big price gap between domestic and export prices, they said.

Sethasan Sethakarun, president of the Soybean Oil and Rice Bran Processors Association, said many soybeanoil makers had cut production by 50 per cent due to losses from the government’s price control policy.

“The wide price gap between domestic and export prices has also encouraged producers to export rather than supply the domestic market,” he said, adding that domestic retail prices were Bt10Bt12 per a litre lower than in neighbouring countries.

To balance supply and demand for soybean oil, Sethasan called on the government to allow a price increase from Bt49.50 per litre bottle to Bt54 as soon as possible.

The association pointed out that cost of soybean had doubled from Bt11 a kilogram in July last year to Bt22 now.

Exports of vegetable oil account for 8 to 10 per cent of total production.

Average monthly domestic conฌsumption of vegetable oil is 90,000 tonnes. Of this, about 60,000 tonnes is palm oil, 20,00022,000 tonnes [typo from Nation] is soybean oil, and the remainder other vegetable oils such as from rice bran, sunflower seed and corn.

Overseas prices of soybean oil vary. For instance, the retail price is Bt60Bt64 a litre in China, Bt62.50 Bt64 in Cambodia, Bt64.50 in Vietnam and Bt72 in Singapore.

The Department of Export Promotion has reported that Thai exports of soybean oil jumped 149.10 per cent to Bt425.7 million in the first six months of this year, up from only Bt170.9 million for the same period last year. About 30 per cent of exports go to the Philippines, followed by Singapore, Indonesia, Cambodia, and South Korea.

Sethasan said that if the government continued to curb retail prices, producers would inevitably turn to exports while reducing domestic supplies. […] (Nation)

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