Edible oil import bill may swell by 30pc this year

Published September 25, 2021
A woman lifts a box of ghee from a supermarket. — Dawn/File
A woman lifts a box of ghee from a supermarket. — Dawn/File

LAHORE: Pakistan’s edible oil import bill is likely to increase significantly in the financial year 2021-22 as compared to last year amid a fall in local production, hike in global prices and rise in local consumption, industry representatives say.

“The edible oil import bill is set to go up by 30 per cent in the ongoing financial year due to rising prices in the global markets and opening of Afghan trade,” suggests Arif Qasim, a businessman dealing in edible oil and vanaspati ghee.

Market analysts anticipate the country’s edible oil imports to be a record 3.7 million tonnes, up 5pc from 3.5MT of the previous year, as Pakistan’s per capita cooking oil consumption is 24 kilograms, the highest in the world.

The five-year import data shows that year-on-year there has been an average increase of 10pc in the edible oil import bill since 2015-16.

Mr Qasim puts the total local consumption of edible oil and ghee at 4.5MT and believes it will shoot up by 0.5MT due to opening of the Afghan trade. This hike in consumption comes at a time when local oilseed production went down by 19pc in 2020-21 — mainly because of a drastically low cotton output.

Palm oil had been trading at around $750 per tonne in 2020 in the internatio­nal markets but the prices began soaring up in January and till November its rate is likely to be $1,200 per tonne, he claims.

Palm oil constitutes 80pc of Pakistan’s imports and the rest is soybean and olive oil. Around 75pc of palm oil is imported from Malaysia and Indonesia, and soybean oil from the US and Brazil.

Pakistan Edible Oil Refiners Associa­tion chairman Rasheed Jan Muhammad sees a 20pc surge in the import of oilseed too this year. The country has already imported 2.73MT of oilseeds since Janu­ary and has contracted another 0.8MT for shipment from September to December, as the oilseed import is likely to set a record of 3.5MT.

Published in Dawn, September 25th, 2021

Opinion

Editorial

Back to bedlam
Updated 25 May, 2022

Back to bedlam

FEAR tactics have never worked in the past, and most likely will not this time either. The government’s ...
25 May, 2022

Balochistan blaze

THE forest fire on the Koh-i-Sulaiman range in Balochistan’s Shirani area is among a series of blazes to have...
25 May, 2022

Unequal citizens

INDIFFERENCE would have been bad enough, but the state’s attitude towards non-Muslims falls squarely in the...
Updated 24 May, 2022

Marching in May

MORE unrest. That is the forecast for the weeks ahead as the PTI formally proceeds with its planned march on...
24 May, 2022

Policy rate hike

THE State Bank has raised its policy rate by 150bps to 13.75pc, hoping that its latest monetary-tightening action...
24 May, 2022

Questionable campaign

OVER the past couple of days, a number of cases have been registered in different parts of the country against...