‘Olive oil prices to remain stable; not to rise’

June 23rd, 2008 - 6:14 pm ICT by IANS  


New Delhi, June 23 (IANS) The Indian Olive Association (IOA) said Monday the product’s prices would remain stable and, contrary to expectations, would not fall as a result of the government’s reduction of import duties to 7.5 percent from April 1. In April, the IOA had stated that olive oil prices were expected to fall by 10-15 percent on fresh imports after duty reduction provided exchange rates remained stable.

However, “a phenomenal rise in the exchange rate of the euro has prevented olive oil companies from reducing prices,” IOA president V.N. Dalmia said in a statement Monday.

“Exchange rates to the rupee today hover above Rs.68, with banks projecting Rs.70 as conceivable in the near future,” he added.

In March and in early April, the exchange rate was about Rs.63. A year ago, the euro was worth Rs.55. A rate of Rs.70 implies an 11 percent rise since April 1.

“If this rate of rise continues, we may have to think of increasing prices,” Dalmia said

On the positive side, he pointed out, stability in olive oil prices was a “blessing” compared to the rapid rise in prices of other oils.

Olive oil, once as much as 10 times the price of sunflower oil, is today less than three times the price. During the last year, groundnut oil has increased from Rs.89 to Rs.109, corn oil from Rs.81 to Rs.106, mustard oil from Rs.57 to Rs.80, sunflower oil from Rs.63 to Rs.78 per litre and soya oil from Rs.52 to Rs.75.

“The price differential of olive oil has reduced dramatically with the rise in prices of other oils,” Dalmia said, adding: “Olive oil companies have held the price line despite inflationary trends.

“With the vast health benefits inherent in olive oil, the reduced price differential presents great value for consumers to secure quantum improvements in their health,” Dalmia added.

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