Press Digest - 70% drop in sales of 5kg cooking oil

PETALING JAYA: The sales of cooking oil in 5kg bottles have dropped by as much as 70% following the removal of subsidy, as consumers switch to buying cooking oil in 1kg polybags, which is still being subsidised.

Perak Sundry Shops Guild president Chuah Seong Kok said that amid a wave of hikes in the prices of goods, with the situation made worse by the plunge in ringgit against the US dollar lately, many consumers opt for cooking oil that is still subsidised, i.e. in 1kg polybags, as they tighten their belts.

This caused the sales of cooking oil in bottles, particularly 5kg bottles, to drop drastically.

As such, he suggested the government should step in to bring the price differences among the various packagings to within 30-40 sen a kg, to strike a balance in sales for cooking oil in different types of packaging.

He said that for example, the price of 1kg polybag cooking oil is still fixed at RM2.50 each, which works out to RM12.50 for 5kg (five packs) whereas a 5kg bottle of cooking oil costs around RM19, or RM3.80 a kg.

“There is a difference of RM1.30 a kg between the two types of packaging.

“To a housewife, it means a saving of RM6.50 if she opts for five polybags (of cooking oil) instead of a 5kg bottle (of cooking oil). RM6.50 is enough pocket money for a school-going child for two days.”

Speaking to Oriental Daily News on Monday, Chuah pointed out that in the past, housewives preferred bottled cooking oil as the bottle provides ease of use.

On shortage of cooking oil lately due to the panic buying by consumers just before the subsidy was removed, Chuah said the situation is gradually returning to normal.