MENA (Jan – Feb) 2021

Malaysian Palm Oil Exports Performance to Middle East & North Africa (MENA) Region
(Jan – Feb 2021)
A Review on MPO Performance

Middle East (East of Suez)

No.COUNTRYJan – Feb 2021Jan – Feb 2020Diff (MT)Diff (%)
3Saudi Arabia55,23085,938-30,708-35.70%

From January to February 2021, the Middle East region imported 266,879 MT Malaysian palm oil in 2hich is 8.7% higher compared to the volume imported in the same period of 2020. Iran emerged as the leading importer of Malaysian palm oil in the region during the said period which increased from just 7,744 MT in 2020 to 72,442 in 2021. Iran resumed their purchase of Malaysian palm oil primarily to replenish its depleting stock when last year’s purchase was severely affected by its oils crisis, US sanction and geo-political uncertainties.

However, imports by the other two leading importers, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, recorded a decline of 25.9% and 35.7% respectively.  The main reason for the decline in imports by the major importing countries were anticipated due to higher palm oil prices in the last two months as buying in certain markets slowed down.  Despite the drop in MPO imports by these countries, other market such as Yemen, UAE, Oman, Qatar, Jordan and Syria are among the countries with positive import growth. These markets accounted for 22% of the total Malaysian palm oil imports by the region.

North Africa (West of Suez)

No.COUNTRYJan – Feb 2021Jan – Feb 2020Diff (Vol)Diff (%)

Source : MPOB

During the period of Jan – Feb 2021, imports of Malaysian palm oil by North Africa markets recorded a total volume of 44,455, which is 36.1% lower compared to the same period of last year. Apart from Egypt and Eritrea, all other countries in this region registered a decline in MPO imports.  Egypt, the biggest importer in the region imported 22,266 MT of Malaysian palm oil and the volume accounted for 50% of the total Malaysian palm oil imported by the region.  Despite higher Malaysian palm oil imported by Egypt, the market is still dominated by the Indonesian palm oil.  As of January, Egypt has imported 115,000 MT of Indonesian palm oil.

Higher palm oil prices during the first two months of 2021, has resulted in slower intake by most countries in the region.  The biggest locust outbreak affecting Sudan and part of Ethiopia has affected agriculture sector which is the mainstay of the mass population.  Thus, reduced their potential income and purchasing power.  Extensive buying of Malaysian palm oil by countries like Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia at the end of 2020 has slowed down their demand in 2021 which is reflected in the lower intake of Malaysian palm oil during the reviewed period.

Breakdown of MPO Exports (MT) 

Jan – Feb
Change (MT)Diff (%)
RBD PL199,717143,40156,31639.3%
RBD PS26,28121,7484,53320.8%
DPL / CO24,6679,59315,074157.1%

Source : MPOB

RBD PL accounted for 64% of the total Malaysian palm oil imported by the region in the first two months of 2021.  The volume has increased by 39.3%.  RBD PS, DPL/CO and RBD PO, accounted for 8 and 7 percent market share respectively.

Source : MPOB

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*Disclaimer: This document has been prepared based on information from sources believed to be reliable but we do not make any representations as to its accuracy. This document is for information only and opinion expressed may be subject to change without notice and we will not accept any responsibility and shall not be held responsible for any loss or damage arising from or in respect of any use or misuse or reliance on the contents. We reserve our right to delete or edit any information on this site at any time at our absolute discretion without giving any prior notice.

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