Leading milk supplier Mother Dairy, which sells cooking oils under Dhara brand, on Monday said the company's production and sales of edible oils have been hit by 35-40 per cent post nationwide lockdown to control the spread of COVID-19.
While production has been hit due to labour shortages and logistics issues, the demand is down because of closures of hotels, restaurants and cafeterias that contribute a significant part of sales.
Mother Dairy used to produce 650 tonnes of edible oils per day before the lockdown. The sales per day were also in the same range.
Responding to an e-mail query, Mother Dairy spokesperson said the impact on business has been in the range of 35-40 per cent during this lockdown period.
"Initially there was a significant decline in production after lockdown as labour and manpower were unavailable. However, the issues are being addressed gradually.
There is a demand for our product as it's an essential food item, however, due to logistical issues and closure of business establishments sales have been impacted," the spokesperson said.
Asked whether the company increased prices of cooking oils after lockdown, the spokesperson said the price revision is a routine activity in our business due to volatility in raw material prices.
"Prices were not changed due to lockdown announcement but were changed as a routine business exercise," the spokesperson said.
Mother Dairy has an annual production capacity of 2 lakh tonnes and approximately the same is the demand of Dhara.
"We operate with 18 third party packing units. All these plants are strictly following safety and hygiene guidelines announced by the government," the spokesperson said.
Last week, leading edible oil firm Adani Wilmar, which sells cooking oil under Fortune brand, deputy CEO Angshu Mallick had told PTI that the company's production and sales have been hit by 40 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively, after lockdown.
The country's total edible oil demand is 230 lakh tonnes annually, which is largely met through imports.
India's total vegetable oil (edible and non- edible) imports increased 3.5 per cent to 155.5 lakh tonnes in the 2018-19 marketing year (November-October).
While shipments of edible oil increased to 149.13 lakh tonnes in the 2018-19 marketing year from 145.16 lakh tonnes in the previous year, the imports of non-edible oil grew to 6,36,159 tonnes from 5,09,748 tonnes during the period under review.
During the November 2019 to February 2020 period of the current oil year, imports have fallen by 6.1 per cent to 45,63,791 tonnes compared to 48,62,849 tonnes in the corresponding period of the previous year.