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Demand for cooking oil peaks on weekend

Posted on August 2, 2011, Tuesday

HOT ITEM: The demand for cooking oil is expected to soar with Hari Raya around the corner.

SIBU: Brand preference and transportation problems are temporarily disrupting the supply of cooking oil in the state with the glitch becoming more glaring on weekends.

The Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism (MDTCC) state director Wan Ahmad Uzir Wan Sulaiman, who said this yesterday, however, gave assurance the supply of cooking oil was stable in the state unlike in the peninsula.

“Actually, there is no shortage but because of the news, some people went on panic buying. And because of bulk buying, others were deprived of the opportunity to obtain their supply of cooking oil,” Wan Ahmad told The Borneo Post when contacted.

He said this when asked why some supermarkets had enforced restrictions on the purchase of cooking oil with one person limited to one or two bottles.

Meanwhile, he said the supermarkets enforced restriction as an element of control to avoid people from panic buying.

He said although there were no such regulations, the operators initiated a control mechanism to ensure everyone will be able
to get their supply of the goods.

“Otherwise, businesses may be tempted to buy in bulk or boxes.”

In Sibu, some supermarkets had restricted the purchase to one bottle (5kg) person.

He also explained why the temporary disruption to the circulation of the controlled item was glaring towards weekends.

“Fresh stock can only be transported to outlets on Mondays, and so their supply may have run out over the weekend. This is a probable reason why some people may not be able to get their supply of cooking oil.

“But when the new week comes, the supply normalises. So it not as such a shortage problem,” the state director said.

Wan Ahmad said some people were brand conscious, and that could have led to the interruption in the supply of 1kg packs for certain brands.

He observed that 1kg packs for other brands were still in circulation in the market.

Towards this end, he urged businesses not to purchase the 1kg packs as they were meant for the low income bracket and household
use.

“Businesses such as restaurants and eatery outlets should go for the 5kg packs to avoid creating problems for those in the lower income group,” he said.

The MDTCC enforcement team here noted that the stock of 1kg packs was still available, urging people to refrain from panic buying.

He was made to understand that the Malaysia Palm Oil Board (MPOB) would increase the supply of cooking oil by 10 per cent to meet the soaring demand for the coming festive season.

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