Pakistan’s major edible oil imports are from Malaysia and Indonesia: moot told

KARACHI: A one-day 3rd Pakistan Edible Oil Conference (PEOC) was held in Karachi on Saturday to highlight the issues being faced by the industry.

At the conference, leading and most renowned speakers and industry experts presented their papers and analysed the market directions. All the leading Brands of Pakistan also set up their stalls on the sideline of the conference to showcase their products.

While addressing the inaugural session of the conference, Minister of State for Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Bloch said that with efforts of the present government, the security situation in the country had improved during the last couple of years and Pakistan had now become a favourite place for the investment. “Pakistan has fought terrorism for many years and conducted several operations to eliminate the terrorists and bring peace to the country. Now, there is no security issue in Pakistan and economy is on the pace of growth,” he added.

The minister said that a large number of participation of foreign delegates in the conference was also evidence that Pakistan’s security situation was much better than previous years.

Minister for State for Maritime Affairs Chaudary Jaffar Iqbal said that the government was fully committed to facilitating the business community for long-term economic growth. He said: “Presently, three ports, including Karachi Port, Port Qasim, and Gwadar Ports, are fully operational and are providing state of the art services to the traders.”

PEOC Chief Executive Rasheed Jan Mohammad said in his welcome: “Since Pakistan is a very significant market with annual consumption of around four million tons of edible oil. I strongly believe that this conference will be very consecutive for all stakeholder of the industry.

He thanked Pakistan Vanaspati Manufacturers Association, All Pakistan Solvent Extractors’ Association, Pakistan Edible Oil Refiners Association, and Pakistan Soap Manufacturers Association for supporting the organization for this conference. He hailed the role of Malaysian Palm Oil Council, Malaysian Palm Oil Board, and GAPKI and BPDPKS of Indonesia for their kind support.

He revealed that the import and consumption of edible oil in Pakistan was gradually increasing. He said that during 2017, it was revealed that per capita consumption went up to 18 kg primarily because of increase in population and improvement in the buying power of the middle class.

He informed that total edible oil consumption in the country surged to four million tons annually including 0.4 million tons of domestic production and some three million tons of imported edible oil while some 0.7 million tons of oil was extracted from imported seeds. “The import of edible oil in 2017 was highest in the history and some 19 percent higher than 2016. This could attribute to the increase in demand but overbought, which resulted in too much pressure on the local market”, he added.

Pakistan’s major edible oil imports are from Malaysia and Indonesia, however, despite some increase in Malaysia’s share, Indonesia is still dominating in Pakistan’s oil trade. During the last year, import of palm oil products from Malaysia was 0.57 million tons (with 20 percent share) and some 2.2 million tons from Indonesia (80 percent share).

Overall import of oilseeds was increased some 36 percent in 2017 compared to 2016. In addition, imports of soybeans posted substantially increase of 100 percent during the last year.

While presenting the international market scenario, Rasheed informed that Malaysian palm production was 19.92 million tons in 2017 compared to 17.32 million tons in 2019 and expected to be around 20.5 million tons in 2018. Similarly, Indonesian palm production was around 36 million 2017 as against 32.3 million tons in 2016 and it may be 38 million tons in this calendar year.

He revealed that Indian import of edible oil during 2016-17 was 15.07 million tons up from 14.57 million tons in2015-16 and expected to be around 15.80 million tons in 2017-18. PEOC Chairman Khawaja Arif Qasim said that edible oil sector was among five leading spinners of Pakistan and was alone contributing some Rs 120 billion annually in national exchequer.