Africa (Jan – Nov) 2021

Malaysian Palm Oil Exports Performance to Sub-Saharan Africa Region
(January – November 2021)
A Review on MPO Export Performance

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

CountryJan – Nov
Jan – Nov  2020Difference (Volume)Difference
Jan-Dec 2020
Kenya593,097412,152 180,945 43.90 520,758
Nigeria284,911310,360 (25,449) (8.20) 368,313
Mozambique263,965287,711 (23,745) (8.25) 301,757
Ghana215,356225,552 (10,196) (4.52) 246,861
Tanzania162,360184,867 (22,507) (12.17) 201,760
Togo126,008161,386 (35,378) (21.92) 173,758
South Africa121,858208,773 (86,915) (41.63) 212,509
Madagascar95,44199,442 (4,001) (4.02) 101,058
Angola91,468115,200 (23,732) (20.60) 124,137
Senegal46,04838,839 7,210 18.56 39,137
Benin38,629107,158 (68,529) (63.95) 111,846
Cote D’Ivoire38,46948,596 (10,127) (20.84) 53,799
Mauritania37,84784,404 (46,558) (55.16) 88,689
Congo Dem. Rep.24,25945,856 (21,597) (47.10) 47,035
Guinea18,24619,344 (1,098) (5.67) 19,577
Cameroon16,33829,311 (12,973) (44.26) 32,117
Gambia11,95619,011 (7,055) (37.11) 19,752
Others14474.738651.45 (24,177) (62.55) 40,499
Total2,200,7322,436,613 (235,880) (9.68) 2,703,365

Source : MPOB

From January to November 2021, imports of Malaysian palm oil by all the countries in the Sub-Saharan region was recorded atreached 2,200,732 MT. This volume represents a reduction of 235,880 MT or 9.68% from 2,436,613 MT recorded during the corresponding period last year. In terms of product breakdown, CPO/CPL is the only product that registered an increase, from 1,277,947 MT to 1,443,702 MT during that period. Despite the rise in CPO prices in the international market this year, Malaysian CPO/CPL price is still very much in demand in this part of the world.

Kenya is the largest importer of MPO from the region, and it is one of the only two countries that show positive growth, with an import volume of 593,097 MT, up by 43.90% from 412,152 MT imported a year earlier. The strong surge in MPO imports in Kenya can be attributed to an increase in demand for CPO by the local refineries in Kenya and neighbouring Tanzania and other land-locked countries such as Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The other countries in the region so far have imported less Malaysian palm oil, especially those countries which normally imported large volumes of RBD palm olein such as Benin, Tanzania, South Africa, and Togo. The drop in MPO imports can be attributed mainly to higher export prices of RBD palm olein in Jan-Nov 2021 period compared to the last year’s prices. The current pandemic situation has made the cost of freight even higher, therefore increasing the cost of imports. The average price of RBD Palm Olein (fob) in 2021 is USD $1140 per MT compared to last year’s average price of $676 per MT.

Competition from other palm oil exporting countries and locally produced palm oil also contribute to the lowering imports of Malaysian palm oil by the countries in the region. The recent revision in Indonesian export taxes and levies which made Indonesian refined palm oil more competitive also contributed to the drop in Malaysian palm oil exports to the region especially for processed palm oil. According to limited information made available by Oil World, Indonesian palm oil exports to a few countries in the region such as Benin, South Africa, and Togo have increased compared to last year’s IPO imports.

Based on reports from various sources, local palm oil production in West African countries, namely Nigeria, Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire, and Sierra Leone has increased in the past few months resulting in less reliance on imports. This situation partly contributed to the lower imports of Malaysian palm oil from Nigeria, Ghana, and the Ivory Coast.

For countries that rely on cross-frontier trade, such as Togo and Benin, land border closures have had a deep impact on their economy, hence lower imports of Malaysian palm oil so far this year. Malaysian palm oil imports by Togo and Benin have dropped by 21.92 % and 63.95% respectively.  As the country’s borders remain closed, business and exports are restricted between several of their neighbours in the region, such as states like Nigeria, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger.

Figure 1: Monthly Exports of MPO to Sub-Saharan Africa (MT), 2019-2021

After two consecutive months of MPO imports exceeding 290,000 MT, the intake for the month of Nov 2021 has dropped to 227,265 MT but is still higher than last year’s November import of 196,842 MT. For the final month of this year, SSA is expected to import around 200,000 MT of MPO. This would bring the total exports to about 2.4 million MT for the whole of 2021, compared to 2.7 million MT for 2020 (<11%). However high CPO prices and the economic impact of the Covid-19 shock are still felt by most countries and that would affect the volume of MPO shipment to the region.

Figure 2: Breakdown of MPO Exports (%) to SSA, Jan-Aug 2021

Source : MPOB

Crude palm oil/olein and RBD palm olein are 2 majors MPO palm oil products exported into the region with each product made up of about 65.60% and 18.99% respectively. CPO/CPL imports have increased by 12.97% to reach 1,443,702 MT compared to 1,277,947 MT during the same period last year. The top four buyers of Malaysian CPO/CPL are Kenya (511,372 MT), Nigeria (269,722 MT), Ghana (194,407 MT), and Mozambique (209,109 MT). Cooking oil export increased by 31.64%, mostly shipped to Tanzania, Angola, Mauritania and Benin. On the other hand, RBD palm olein exports have reduced by 48.78% to 417,863 MT from 815,821 MT registered during Jan-Nov 2020. Major importers of RBD palm olein from the region include Tanzania (98,502 MT), South Africa (56,100 MT), and Angola (45,196 MT).

Table 2: Breakdown of MPO Exports Products to Sub-Saharan Africa (MT)

Diff (MT)Diff (%)Jan-Dec 2020
Cooking Oil172,179130,79241,38731.64138,862
RBD PL417,863815,821(397,958)(48.78)866,335
RBD PS28,81761,849(33,032)(53.41)64,005
RBD PO52,21462,886(10,673)(16.97)65,629

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