Impressive Increase in 1st Quarter, 2020 Imports of MPO in Bangladesh

During Jan.-Mar. period of 2020, the import quantity of MPO showed a stunning performance achieving 121.12% growth compared to the corresponding period of 2019. Total import quantity of MPO, which includes bulk and consumer packs both, was 29,893 tonnes against 13,519 tonnes in the 1st quarter of 2019. Total import quantity of palm oil also witnessed a growth of 4.62% compared to the corresponding period of 2019, whereas import quantity of CDSBO, the main competitor to palm oil, declined by 15.42% during the period. Under mentioned table would give a clearer picture about the import trend of palm oil during the period.

Table–1: Import Detail of Palm Oil : Jan – March, 2020 vs Jan. – March 2019 (MT)
  Jan.-Mar. 2020 Jan.- Mar. 2019 Changes
(Vol.)
Changes
(%)
Jan-Dec
2019
Malaysia 29,893 13,519 16,374 121.12 299,167
Indonesia 405,562 402,696 2,866 0.71 1,338,785
Total 435,455 416,215 19,240 4.62 1,637,952
Source: Chittagong Port Authority/Bulk Storage Terminals/Importers and MPOC Market Intelligence

It may be mentioned here that in the 1st quarter i.e. Jan. – March period, Jan. to Feb. months are considered as lean period for marketing of palm oil in the country due to low ambient temperature. Despite such weather condition aforesaid increase of import of palm oil and MPO as well is really an achievement. As gathered from the market, anticipating a huge business opportunity during Ramadan, which is the peak consumption period of oils and fats in the country, local importers cum refinery owners have booked about 400,000 tonnes of palm oil in February and another 100,000 tonnes in early March for arrival in in the country in March and April. Over 200,000 tonnes of palm oil, which has already arrived in the country in March, is part of aforesaid quantity. Rest quantity is scheduled to arrive in April.   

But COVID – 19 came as a havoc and has scattered the business plan of the importers cum refiners. Local trading of oils and fats started to decline since beginning of March, 2002 with the news of COVID – 19 and by the end of March that came down to a minimum level because of imposition of MCO by the govt. to contain the COVID – 19.

Observing the situation, importers cum refiners are now actively considering to defer the shipment of some of the consignments which were scheduled to arrive in the country in April. If so, import trend of palm oil in the country, which is performing better compared to the corresponding period of 2019, may witness a big blow because of its larger share in the country’s oils and fats market.     

Prepared by Fakhrul Alam

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