MENA & Balkan (Jan – Apr) 2023

Malaysian Palm Oil Exports Performance to  MENA & Western Balkan Region
(January – April 2023)
A Review on MPO Performance

Middle East 

 COUNTRYJan-Apr 2023Jan-Apr 2022Y-O-Y Change (MT)Y-O-Y Change (%)
2Saudi Arabia144,942179,771(34,829)(19.37)
 Total720,342707,96412,378 1.75

Source : MPOB

During the Jan-Apr 2023 period, imports of Malaysian palm oil by the Middle East region registered a volume of 720,342 MT which is 12,378 MT or 1.75% higher compared to the same period of 2022. Turkiye reatins its position as the leading importer of Malaysian palm oil in this region with a volume of 314,868 MT and has recorded an increase of 52,362 MT or by 19.94 % in imports of Malaysian palm oil.   The increase in MPO is mainly due to the demand from the HORECA sector which is performing well supported by the increase of tourist arrivals which more than doubled this year. The export of MPO to neighbouring countries such as Russia, Georgia, Iraq and Syria by Turkiye also contributed to an overall increase in palm oil import.

Imports of MPO to Saudi Arabia for the period of January to April 2023 declined by 19.37% compared to the same period last year. This was largely due to Indonesian palm oil suppliers who offer importers at a discounted price. The return of freight costs to normal rates has seen some Middle East countries like Yemen opting to import directly from Malaysia as opposed to importing through regional hubs in Saudi Arabia and UAE. Apart from Yemen, Jordan and Lebanon also registered increase in MPO imports because MPO exporters used their ports for shipments to Syria.

Imports of Malaysian palm oil by Iran showed an increase of 43.84%, registering a volume of 91,465 MT from 63,587 MT in the same period of 2022. Iran is still an important exporting country ranked as the third largest MPO export destination in the region. Other countries that recorded an increase were Yemen (686.53%), Jordan (18.50%), Kuwait (11.50. %), Bahrain (35.24%) and Lebanon (105.35%). While countries that registered a drop in imports of MPO were UAE (30.52%), Oman (46.40%), Qatar (17.21%), Syria (25.76%) and Iraq (75.02%).

Breakdown of Malaysian Palm Oil Export

Jan – Apr
RBD PL368,935411,599-42,664      (10.37)
RBD PO93,05482,54710,507       12.73
RBD PS67,13181,536-14,405      (17.67)
CPL70,98974,002-3,012        (4.07)
CO / DPL93,21949,43943,780       88.55
CPO22,3011,00021,301  2,129.91
Others4,7127,842-3,130      (39.91)
Total720,342707,96412,378         1.75

Source: MPOB

RBD palm olein is the most imported palm oil fraction in this region which accounted for 51.2% of the total palm oil products imported into the region. Most of the RBD palm olein in this region was imported from traditional markets such as Iran, Turkiye, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Oman, accounting for 95% of the total RBD PL imported into the region. Out of this volume, 17,894 MT to Turkey and 1,492 MT to UAE were RSPO-certified PL.


 COUNTRYJan – Apr 2023Jan – Apr 2022Diff (Vol)Diff (%)

Source: MPOB

The Balkan region, which comprises Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia imported a small volume of Malaysian palm oil. During the period from Jan – April 2023, the region imported 91 MT of Malaysian palm oil, which was a drop of 146 MT or 62% compared to the corresponding period of last year. The region is mainly a sunflower-producing region, and the higher sunflower seed output has impacted the imports of palm oil.

Breakdown of Malaysian Palm Oil Export

PRODUCTJan – April
Jan – April
CO / DPL91166(75)(45.18)
RBD PL0000.00
RBD PO070(70)(100.00)
Total91 236 (145)(61.44)

Source: MPOB

For this period, cooking oil is the only imported oil fractions by the region which accounted for 100% of the total palm oil imported during the review period.

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