- Nigeria Imports More Palm Oil from Malaysia in Q1 2019
Nigeria’s palm oil production still remains below demand as such many local companies had to import from Malaysia.
According to a data released by the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC), Nigeria’s palm oil import from the country rose by 57 percent to 112,480 metric tons (MT) in the first quarter of 2019. Up from 47,974 MT recorded in the same quarter of 2018.
Industrial experts are saying Nigeria’s crude palm oil production is less competitive when compared with the imported ones due to infrastructural limitations and high cost of production.
This, experts blamed for the surged in the importation of foreign crude palm oil by local manufacturers who use CPO as raw materials.
Local producers complain about the drop in patronage and high cost of CPO due to several constraints that need to be addressed by the government.
Fatai Afolabi, executive secretary, Plantation Owners Forum of Nigeria (POFON), stated in a statement: “Nigeria has significantly increased its production in the last 10 years but is still importing a lot of CPO into the country and much more is smuggled through the land borders.”
Earlier this year, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said the Federal Government spends over $500 million on palm oil importation yearly.
Governor of the apex bank, Godwin Emefiele, said in the 50s and 60s, Nigeria was the largest exporter of crude palm oil and contributed 40 percent of global supply.
He, however, revealed that despite placing oil palm in the forex restriction list, that the country still imports about 302,00 MTs in 2017, down from 506,000 MTs recorded in 2014.
“This indicates that Nigeria still expends close to 500 million dollars on oil palm importation annually and we are determined to change this narrative.
“This conversation is indeed important as it forms part of our overall strategy to reduce our reliance on crude oil imports, diversify the productive base of our economy, create jobs and conserve our foreign exchange.
“We intend to support improved production of palm oil to meet not only the domestic needs of the market, but to also increase our exports in order to improve our forex earnings,” he said.