Domestic palm oil prices up as global production down

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A local consumer buying cooking oil at a retail outlet.  Photo: Phoe Khwar

By Nyein Nyein
According to the Myanmar Edible Oil Dealers Association, the domestic palm oil is on the rise as it tracks the imported oil price.
“The domestic edible oil price is related to the international price. It has risen because of the rise in the global market,” Chair U San Lin of the association. Myanmar yearly imports 700,000 tonnes of palm oil from Malaysia and Indonesia to meet local demand. Those countries faced unpredictable weather condition, and the production declined. Consequently, the edible oil price has risen. “The reasons for rising edible oil price is production slump caused by erratic weather conditions, such as flood and La Niña, coupled with the COVID-19 impacts,” he continued.
Additionally, the temporary storage of palm oil in those countries and tax hike caused other price rise reasons, the association stated.
The palm oil fetches up to US$1,035 per tonne in the international market, while it is priced K2,400 per viss (a viss equals to 1.6kg) in the retail market of Myanmar. During the early outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, palm oil price stood at only $700-800 per tonne, and the price in the domestic retail market was only at K1,500-1,600 per viss.
To ensure the self-sufficiency during the COVID-19 pandemic, the government purchased over 12,000 tonnes of palm oil for reserves and distributed to the oil tanks in the respective regions and states, the association stated. “The import volume of palm oil during the pandemic is adequate for the domestic market’s needs. The association urged its member to have an adequate supply of oil during the pandemic.
“Myanmar Edible Oil Dealers Association and the government cooperated to import 12,000 tonnes of oil for reserves in May 2020. The association has urged the members to store oil in tanks for the needs. We have enough oil to meet the requirements for sure, the association chair affirmed. 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. About 600,000-700,000 tonnes of cooking oil are imported annually to meet the domestic market’s self-sufficiency. (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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