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Cooking oil price rise application gets nod
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China's top planning body has agreed to allow Shenzhen-based Kerry Oils & Grains Co Ltd to increase the prices of its small package oil products, including the popular Arawana food oils, a Beijing newspaper reported today.

The National Development and Reform Commission said it had no objections to the application, but it was unclear when and by how much the company would increase its prices, the Beijing News newspaper said.

An official of the company's Product Department said today she could not confirm the price rise and Shanghai Daily's phone calls to the National Development and Reform Commission were not answered.

The Beijing News report said Kerry was the third company to receive price increase approval since the commission required the country's main manufacturers of oil, milk and instant noodles on January 15 to send applications if they wanted to raise the prices of their products.

On Friday, the commission approved an application from Shanghai-based Bright Dairy and Sanlu Dairy Group in Hebei Province to increase prices of pure milk products by about 14 percent, previous reports said.

The price of a five-liter bottle of Arawana Quality Cooking Oil is about 80 yuan (US$11.43) in large Shanghai supermarkets, about 50 percent higher than six months ago.

Food oil products for home customers are all categorized as "small package food oil products."

The Kerry Company had lost significant revenue on these items, the report said, quoting an official of the Kerry Company.

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