In the world of Indian kitchens, Mustard oil enjoys a royal place. It is the most favourate edible oil because of all the remarkable benefits it has to offer. Moreover, it also holds a traditional value in the hearts of Indian cooks because of its generational uses.
It is undoubtedly an ancient cooking oil with magical properties. However, with development and globalization, some people shifted their focus to modern refined oils because of their affordability and popularity. This affects the market price of mustard oil, making it difficult for people to afford it.
How Mustard Oil Price Changes Affect Household Budgets
A major section of India falls below the poverty line. A subtle change in the prices of commodities can majorly affect their budget. Cooking oil is an important ingredient that everyone needs in their kitchens. So, people with a limited budget often choose an oil that falls under their budget. In such a case, if Mustard Oil prices increase, these consumers shift to other cheap oils.
Impact on Food Choices
When Mustard Oil prices increase, it impacts people’s food choices. They have to balance out their budget by cutting on certain items. They either change their oil to a cheaper alternative or they stop purchasing other expensive food products. It ultimately affects their healthy food choices because they have to compromise on food options.
When people hear that prices of Mustard Oil are going to increase, they tend to buy it in bulk to save money. It mostly happens with people who are comfortable with buying a particular brand of Mustard Oil. Moreover, sometimes brands offer discounts on bulk purchases so this approach helps people.
Impact on Remedial Practices
Many people use Mustard Oil for purposes other than cooking. Such as, skin care treatments, hair massages, supplements, medicines etc. So, when the prices go up, they tend to stop using the oil for such purposes and instead shift to a cheaper alternative or chemical beauty products.
In order to stick to a affordable but healthy solution, some people consider making their own Mustard Oil at home. Such people often have all the raw materials accessible, making it easy to extract their own oils. People who live in villages consider this approach but it is not possible for everyone.
Factors Responsible for Sudden Changes in Mustard Oil Prices:
Supply Chain Issues
The major factor is issues in supply chain management. If there is more than required production of mustard seeds the prices fall but when the production is low, the prices rise. Changing seasons often affect the production. Similarly, transport strikes can also affect the flow of supply, natural calamity can put a stop on the whole supply chain, loss in business etc.
Agriculture depends on the weather, so minor fluctuations in the weather cycle majorly affect agricultural results. This is one of the main reasons that affect the production of mustard seeds. If there is any change in the rainfall pattern, it will decay the crops, leading to less produce Similarly, if there is any other weather-related calamity like floods, draughts, etc. It affects the produce, leading to an increase in prices.
Many times, crops catch pest infestations and diseases, thereby reducing the total mustard seed production. It ultimately leads to less supply of mustard seeds. When the Mustard Oil manufacturers don’t get enough seeds for production of oil, they have to increase the prices to maintain their economic requirements.
The government can change import-export duties on commodities and raw materials. This fluctuation can also affect prices because it directly affects the profit and loss ratio for manufacturers and consumers. For example, if there is a restriction imposed on the export of mustard seeds, it can reduce its domestic prices but if there is a restriction on import, it can increase the prices.
In case of a natural calamity, the country has to import raw materials to meet the consumer demand of a particular commodity. The import prices vary from the prices of domestic production. So, when you purchase a commodity manufactured with imported raw materials, it will cost you must more than the one produced with domestic materials.
Transportation costs are another indirect factor responsible for the increase in mustard oil prices. If there is a rise in petrol and other fuel prices, it will directly impact the prices of other commodities. It is because these commodities are transported to places at a cost. So, if this cost increases, so does the commodity’s price.
When many consumers choose to buy mustard oil for its health benefits, it automatically increases the demand. This rise in demand will require more oil production and more work to be done by the manufacturers. So, the prices will also go up.
The consumer perspective is quite varied but it largely revolves around their financial concerns, accessibility, health requirements and adaptability. So, the people who are not used to Mustard oil find it easy to switch to another alternative but people who are habitual of using a particular brand face the difficulty of rising prices.
Above mentioned points also list some of the major factors responsible for the rise in prices. You can refer to these points to understand all the responsible factors.