Cooking oil skyrockets suspiciously

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The price of locally distilled edible oil has gone up significantly after reports surface that palm oil was linked to health hazards. Sources in the local edible oil industry stated that in the past few weeks, prices of the local product have been rising rapidly.
About a month ago the price of local edible oil was about 50 birr per litter, which immediately increased 5 birr when the public health institute announced that imported palm oil has several health related problems, according to sources.
Sources said that the price of local oil price has spiked in recent weeks and has reached about 70 birr per liter at producers. The price at the retail market has also reached 100 birr, according to a product distributor, who works for a local oil factory.
The Addis Ababa City Administration Trade Bureau Deputy Head Mesfin Assefa said that price increases are occurring without any economic. He said that they attempted to put a stop to this not only with oil but other household items as well.
“If this does not solve the problem our other option is suspending the actors and prosecuting people,” Mesfin told Capital.
He said that this week their office has taken against some sales people for increasing prices for no apparent reason.
Prices of necessities are rising more quickly in recent times triggering high inflation.
In its market observation Capital confirmed that the price of oil has reached 90 birr per litter at the retail market from the previous 65 birr. Locally produced oils use ingredients like soybean, niger seeds, cottonseeds, and other products grown here.
Since the implementation of the price cap in 2011 the government has imported oil and it now controls the palm oil market via consumers’ associations or shops in the country. The import is being done to manage the price, while the negative effect of the edible oil including the quality of the imported product has created concern for experts.
Recently the Public Health Institute, which is the government body, advised stopping palm oil imports due to side effects it then changed the statement to recommend exercising caution.