Retail prices of wheat, rice, sugar and edible oils are showing a declining trend after the measures taken by the government, including curbs on exports of wheat and sugar, Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey said on Thursday.
Amid rising inflation, the Government, on May 13, banned exports of wheat. Thereafter, it capped sugar exports at 10 million tonnes for this year and prior to that, duties on key edible oils were reduced. Besides, stock limits on edible oils and oilseeds are in place to check hoarding.
“After a number of steps we took, it is showing its impact despite all challenges. I am not saying that challenges have suddenly vanished. They continue to be there. Despite those challenges, prices are behaving in the manner was intended due to those interventions,” Mr Pandey told reporters.
The average retail price of wheat flour (atta) has declined by 0.30 per cent to Rs 33.4 per kg in a week while wheat rate has also showed a declining trend and stood at Rs 29.8 per kg on June 1, he said.
“In wheat, the trend (in price) is reversing. There was 0.74 per cent increase in retail wheat price 19 days before export of wheat was banned. Now, there is only 0.47 per cent increase in wheat rate,” the Food Secretary said.
A similar trend was seen in wholesale price of wheat and wheat flour, he said.
In the case of rice, the secretary said the average prices are ruling stable and in fact have showed a marginal decline in both retail and wholesale markets.
The average rice prices ruled at Rs 36.1 per kg in retail markets while it was at Rs 31.40 per kg in wholesale markets on June 1.
In the case of edible oils, he said the international prices of soyabean and sunflower had risen more than 35 per cent a year back, but the increase in domestic production insulated the local prices from global impact.
“Over the week, edible oil prices are showing a declining trend,” the official informed.
There was a fall in the average retail price of groundnut oil by 0.24 per cent to Rs 186.43 per kg on June 1 from over a week, by 0.70 per cent in mustard oil to Rs 183.68 per kg, by 0.39 per cent in soyabean oil to Rs 169.41 per kg, and 0.69 per cent in RBD palmolein at Rs 156.4 per kg in the said period.
In the case of sugar too, average retail price is now ruling at 41.50 per kg. The sugar price has reduced by Rs 0.50 per kg in past one month, he added.
Asked when the curbs on these commodities will be eased, the Secretary said, “the situation is extraordinary and the responsibility of the government to consumers is equally there. While on production side, we are giving lot of support to farmers but on other consumer side also, adequate is required to provide that comfort.”