Imports of Malaysian palm oil hit US$150m in 9 months

  • Southeast Asian nation targets 300,000mt to Ghana next year
  • West Africa imported 1,000,000mt in 2016

In just the first three quarters of 2017, the country imported 213,000 tonnes of palm oil from Malaysia, valued at US$149.1million and representing more than 70 percent of total imports of the commodity within the period.

The Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC), an organisation that promotes the market expansion of Malaysian palm oil and its products, sees the Ghanaian market as a growing one and is targetting even more exports – particularly for the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry.

The 2017 import figure represents an almost 10 percent increase on the 2016 import of 203,000 tonnes, and the Southeast Asia economic giant is targetting a 20 percent increase by the end of 2017 and up to 300,000 tonnes, estimated at US$210million, by 2018.

The nation’s annual demand for oil and fat is 680,000 tonnes while local production hovers around 480,000 tonnes, leaving the gap for Malaysia to fill.

Dato’ Lee Yeow Chor, Chairman of Malaysia’s Palm Oil Council, told journalists in Accra that West Africa’s growing population and economy naturally means the per capita consumption of vegetable oil will increase.

“We are positive that the consumption of good quality palm oil from Malaysia will increase. We also want to promote other by-products, including soap, fatty-acid and palm kernel. We are more interested in pushing value added products,” he said.

Speaking at the maiden Malaysia-Ghana Palm Oil Trade Fair and Seminar (POTS), which came off in Accra, Mr. Chor stated that Malaysian companies are ready to enter joint venture agreements with local palm oil companies to produce the products locally.

“Malaysian companies have entered into agreements with companies in Indonesia, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Columbia and others, and we are looking at deals like that here. We are hoping to discuss incentives and government policies on establishing palm oil processing companies,” he added.

MPOC opens regional office in Accra

To further strengthen the relationship between Malaysia and Ghana, the MPOC outdoored its regional office in Accra. The office, according to Mr. Chor, will be a one-stop agency answering all queries about the importation of palm oil and associated business conversations from Malaysia.

The seminar

Organised by the MPOC and Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) – the regulatory and research institution on palm oil – with support from the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), the event was on the theme ‘Creating Mutual Partnership, Optimising and Expanding Palm Oil Opportunities in West Africa’.

Speakers at the seminar included renowned local industry captains and international experts from Malaysia, Ghana and the UK.  The papers covered topics on oils and fats – ranging from market outlook and trade to oil palm planting and the logistics situation in Africa – and attracted over 300 participants from both Malaysia and Ghana.

Mr. Chor noted that: “Ghana is one of Malaysia’s biggest trading partners in this region, with the total trade between the two countries registering US$337million in 2016.”

Commenting on the trade relationship between Malaysia and Africa, Mr. Chor said Malaysia considers the West African market as an important destination for Malaysian palm oil.

“In recent years, there has been a significant upward trend of Malaysian palm oil exports into this region. Last year, Malaysia exported about one million tonnes of palm oil to all countries in the West African region,” he noted.


By Bernard Yaw Ashiadey | | Ghana

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