Over the past 5 years, Malaysian palm oil exports to Saudi Arabia was on the upward trends except for the year 2019 when imports started to move downward, due to aggressive selling and more competitive price offered by Indonesian suppliers. However, imports of palm oil have picked up again this year. From Jan to August 2020 it has already exceeded the import volume recorded in 2019.
Saudi Arabia – Malaysian Palm Oil Import
|2015||2016||2017||2018||2019||Jan – Aug 2020|
Crude palm olein filled most of the palm oil import basket due to its zero percent duty advantage. Besides palm oil, palm kernel expeller (PKE) is being imported by the country. An increase in PKE import is to supply the growing animal feed market.
2020 has been a very good year for Malaysian palm oil in Saudi Arabia. Despite facing with petroleum price crisis, which has caused the nation to revise its national budget and COVID 19 which affected its tourism industry, the import of Malaysian palm oil continue to record positive growth.
The country, effective on 30 June 2020 has revised its import tax structure on various imported goods. Their revision has escalated the current duty structure around 0.5% to 15%. Before that, most food items were bound by 5% import duty except for some raw material for the domestic food processing industry which are exempted from import duty.
Fortunately, palm oil is not affected by the tax revision and the import duties remain status quo for crude and refined products at 0% and 5% respectively.
The most glaring factor of the huge leap of Malaysian palm oil in the first eight months of 2020 is the lower intake of Indonesian palm oil. During Jan – August 2020, the country only imported 55,000 MT of Indonesian palm oil against 264,000 recorded during the same period of 2019. COVID lockdown and Indonesian biodiesel mandate are the likely factors contributing to lower Indonesian palm imported by the country.
Saudi Arabia has always been the Malaysian palm oil market, except in 2019 when the import has inclined towards Indonesian palm oil. Price factors are the only determinant of Indonesian palm oil competitiveness. However, based on the current trend, Malaysian palm oil will continue to dominate the market at least until the end of 2020 or up until the first quarter of 2021.
Besides palm oil, PKE is another growing sector to be observed. The use of PKE in Saudi Arabia animal feed is expected to grow in tandem with the growth in the animal feed market. It is estimated that the sector to grow at 6% annually.
In the recent import duty revision, the country has revised import duty on various dairy products such as follows:-
|Products||HS Code||Previous Tariff||Tariff as of 30 June 2020||Bound Rate|
|Milk powder for industrial purposes||04022110||5||15||15|
|Other milk, unsweetened||04029110||5||10||10|
|Other creams, sweetened||04029920||5||10||10|
Source: USDA, May 2020
An increase in import duty of dairy products could reduce imports of related products and encourage higher intake of relevant substitute, in the form of palm based margarine and palm based table spread.
Import of PKE is also showing positive growth with imports during Jan – August 2020 increased by 78.6%. As Saudi Arabia has imposed ban the production of green forage effective in November 2018 as part the country’s move towards easing the pressure on renewable water resources, the country has to solely depend on imports of animal feed. The situation reflected in higher import of PKE. If this is the future direction of the country, the demand for PKE is expected to increase further.
Prepared by Fatimah Zaharah
*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.