The domestic palm oil has slightly decreased, tracking the fall in imported oil price, said U San Lin, chair of Myanmar Edible Oil Dealers’ Association.
In early January 2021, production slump in importing countries Malaysia and Indonesia, caused by erratic weather conditions and the COVID-19 impacts, high imports by particular countries under tax reduction, a tax hike on exports in producing countries and the temporary storage of palm oil in those countries contributed to the rise in edible oil price. The palm oil price stood at US$1,055-1,075 per tonne in the foreign market. Consequently, it moved around K2,500 per viss (a viss equals 1.6 kg) in the domestic wholesale market.
In the third week of January, the oil price dipped to $990 per tonne. Following that, the wholesale price of palm oil moves in the range of around K2,400.
“At present, the edible oil price is quite stable. The imported price declined, and so, the domestic market also reported a small decrease compared to previous weeks. It slipped from over K2,500 per viss to K2,400-2,420 per viss,” he said.
To ensure self-sufficiency during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Commerce purchased over 12,000 tonnes of palm oil for reserves, and they have been distributed to the respective regions and states. Those oils are started selling to control the price rise in the domestic edible oil market.
“The Ministry of Commerce and Myanmar Edible Oil Dealers’ Association have systematically purchased the reserved oil starting from May 2020, via the tender system. The oil is now distributed to the consumers, handled by the Ministry of Commerce, the Consumer Affairs Department and the related governmental institutions. Myanmar Edible Oil Dealers’ Association is also cooperating certain matters,” the association chair said.
When necessary, selling edible oil reserves is aimed at offering a fair price to the consumers and governing the price, he continued.
The association urged its member to have an adequate supply of oil during the pandemic.
“The association is focusing on sustainable import to meet the market’s demand. Furthermore, there is a cargo shipping problem and shortage of edible oil triggered by production slump during the pandemic. The association is working together with its affiliated members (import companies) so that oil imports will not halt,” U San Lin affirmed.
Last 7 January, Myanmar Edible Oil Dealers’ Association issued a notice to import the palm oil from foreign countries sustainably, distribute the edible oil at a fair price to the consumers and ensure that there will be no edible oil shortage in regions and state when there is a rise in imported oil price.
The domestic consumption of edible oil is estimated at 1 million tonnes per year. The local cooking oil production is just about 400,000 tonnes. To meet the self-sufficiency in domestic market, about 700,000 tonnes of cooking oil are yearly imported.
(Translated by Ei Myat Mon)