Cooking oil prices ease

John Kapito

Two weeks into the 2022-23 financial year, grocery shop operators have started reducing prices of cooking oil to reflect removal of the 16.5 Value Added Tax (VAT) on the commodity.

Spot checks by The Daily Times in some mega grocery shops reveal that a two-litre bottle of cooking oil is ranging between K5,900 and K6,200 while a five-litre bottle is at between K14,800 and K15,200.

Previously, a two-liter bottle of cooking oil was selling at between K6700 to K7200 while a five-liter went as high as K18,000.


Reacting to the development on Times 360 Malawi Facebook page, consumers were however, still concerned that the change is not significant to cushion the rising cost of living.

Gilbert Ilimu said Malawi will continue to face the danger of high prices of fuel in and high cost of living because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Leonard Mughogho also wrote that the price could have reduced further to K12,000 for a five-liter bottle and K3,000 for a two-litre bottle.


“They deliberately increased the price last month when they heard the government has removed VAT on cooking oil so that the prices will return to where they were,” Mughogho wrote.

In a recent interview, Executive Director of the Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) John Kapito emphasized the need to look into the price build up for the commodity.

“We said it before that the issue was not necessarily the VAT on cooking oil but because these people import some of the materials so to reduce the prices the government should enforce production of such commodities using locally available resources and strengthen the kwacha against other currencies,” Kapito said.

Presenting the 2022- 23 National Budget, Minister of Finance Sosten Gwengwe said Malawians should know that the key contributing factor for the high cooking oil prices is the huge increase in prices of raw materials that are used for the production of cooking oil, most of which are imported.

“Regardless, Government has henceforth decided to exempt cooking oil from VAT. It is my belief that this gesture will be reciprocated by the cooking oil manufacturing companies by reducing cooking oil prices hence forth,” Gwengwe said.

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