Africa (Jan – Jul) 2019

Malaysian Palm Oil Exports Performance to Sub-Saharan Africa Region
(Jan – July 2019)
A Review on MPO Export Performance

Table 1: Top Importers of Malaysian Palm Oil from Sub-Saharan Africa


2019 (MT)

2018 (MT)



South Africa147,574122,42925,14620.54
Congo Dem. Rep.31,76020,30711,45356.40

Source : MPOB

From January to July 2019, total Malaysian palm oil exports to this region was at 1.15 million MT which was 15,562 MT or 1.34% lower compared to the same period of 2018. However, for the month of July 2019, Malaysian palm oil exports to countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa increased to 166,627 compared to just 92,908 MT a month earlier and 120,000 MT in May 2019. Higher intakes by Ghana, South Africa, Benin and Togo contributed to the better performance of MPO exports to make up for lower stocks. Nigeria, South Africa and Mozambique and Tanzania are the top buyers in the region with import volume exceeding 100,000 MT by each country.

Figure 1: Monthly Export of MPO to Sub-Saharan Africa (MT)

Nigeria is the top importer of MPO with 157,000 MT (up by 55%) compared to Jan-July 2018. A significant portion of Nigerian MPO imports (74%) are in the form of CPO/CPL for its refineries. Nigeria also imported 22,300 MT of RBD palm olein in Jan-July 2019 period compared to 9,300 MT a year earlier. Apart from Malaysia, Nigeria also sourced palm oil from Indonesia and other neighbouring West African countries.

South African imports rose by 21% to 147,574 MT, mainly due to an increase in RBD PO from 19,780 to 42,256 so far this year, while 44,000 MT of RBD palm olein, 33,000 MT of RBD palm oil and 25,000 MT of RBD palm stearin were imported in the last 5 months. Mozambique, who imported only 449 MT of MPO in June 2019, saw a significant rise in imports in July as they imported more than 11,000 MT of MPO last month raising their total imports to 115,574 MT compared 100,544 MT for Jan-July period in the previous year. In the second quarter, Mozambique intakes totalled less than 13,000 MT, compared to 91,000 MT in the first quarter. Mozambique economic growth is projected to decelerate sharply this year amid the destruction brought by tropical storms Idai and Kenneth which struck in March and April, respectively. Furthermore, the budget deficit and external position are set to deteriorate further due to reconstruction costs, while the high public debt burden will continue to dampen the near-term outlook.

Kenya and Tanzania, two other major importers from East Africa, imported less MPO so far this year compared to last year (27 % and 46% lower) due to lower price offered by other country. In 2018/2019 budget, Tanzania increased import tariff on CPO to 25% up from 10%, and 35% on semi-refined and refined palm products, from 25% in conformity with EAC regulations. Several West African countries especially Benin and Ghana have taken considerably less MPO this year compare to the year before for the same reason mentioned earlier.

Figure 2: Breakdown of MPO Exports (MT) Jan-Jul 2019


Source : MPOB

RBD palm Olein and Crude Palm Oil/Olein continue to be the top categories of MPO palm oil products exported into the region with each product made up about 48% and 34% respectively. Lower CPO/CPL export to the region is due to a reduction in Indonesia export levies in Dec 2018 which has raised the competitiveness of Indonesian palm oil on the world market, while a narrowing of the tax differential between crude and processed palm oils helped increase the share of crude palm oil exports from Indonesia in recent months.

Breakdown of MPO Exports Products to Sub-Saharan Africa (MT)

PRODUCTJan-July 2019Jan-July
Diff (MT)Diff (%)
RBD Palm Olein555,610549,7785,8321.06
Cooking Oil73,91573,4364790.65
RBD Palm Oil52,78137,04115,74042.49
RBD Palm Stearin38,54834,2004,34812.71

Source : MPOB

For the month of August 2018, the region is expected to import around 180,000 – 200,000 MT of MPO to make up for lower imports earlier in the second quarter this year. Imports are expected to peak in September-October before gradually reducing towards year end.

For more info please contact Mr Iskahar
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