Africa (Jan – Sep) 2022

Malaysian Palm Oil Exports Performance to Sub-Saharan Africa Region
(January – September 2022)
A Review on MPO Export Performance

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

CountryJan – Sep 2022Jan – Sep
Jan-Dec 2021
South Africa99,943106,169(6,226)(5.86)129,677
Congo Dem. Rep.23,00918,9654,04421.3225,997
Cote D’Ivoire9,65537,496(27,841)(74.25)39,215
The Gambia9,63411,210(1,576)(14.06)12,322

Source : MPOB

Malaysian palm oil exports to the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa decreased slightly by 1.19 percent in the period of January-September 2022 compared to the same period last year. However, on monthly basis, September 2022 registered the highest monthly import volume of the year by the SSA region with 259,166 MT, buoyed by large imports from countries such as Nigeria and Kenya. In the month of September 2022 alone, Nigeria bought 56,866 MT of MPO while Kenya took in 52,533 MT.

Kenya is the leading importer of MPO from the region with 574,968 MT of import volume as the demand for CPO from local refineries and other products in Kenya has continued to increase in the past few years. Kenya also acts as a hub for the East Africa region. Palm oil that is exported by Kenya is also re-routed to the bordering land-locked countries like Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Tanzania imported 186,203 MT of MPO, consisting of 40,020 MT of CPO and 146,182 MT in refined form. It is expected that Tanzania will increase its imports of CPO in the months ahead, as the Tanzanian government abolished CPO import duty on July 1st, 2022. Semi-refined and refined palm oil products are maintained at 35%. Previously, from July 2018 until June 2022, the Tanzanian government imposed a 25% import duty on crude palm oil.

Other traditional major buyers of Malaysian palm oil from the region such as Ghana and Mozambique, have not imported as much palm oil from Malaysia compared to the same period last year. Ghana imports have reduced by 75.39% to just 40,395 MT compared to 164,136 MT a year ago, while Mozambique imports have dropped by 28.99 % to 155,714 MT from 219,281 MT. Cote D’Ivoire’s imports show a reduction of 74.25% to 9,655 MT.  Lower import volume palm oil producing countries in West Africa especially Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire suggest that local palm oil production in both countries is improving this year. USDA in its latest report forecasts that palm oil production in Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire will reach a record level for marketing year (MY) 2022/23. Palm oil harvested areas in both countries are also forecasted to reach a record level. Countries that rely on cross-frontier trade, especially Benin with a 97.30% increase, suggest that cross-frontier trade among West African countries is improving after the border was closed during the Covid-19 pandemic last year.

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

Next Few Month’s Outlook

The average monthly CPO price reached its peaked level in May 2022 but shows a downtrend since. In September 2022, the average CPO prices drop to RM3730/MT, the lowest since the end of 2020. The price is expected to range between RM3500-RM4000 in the last quarter of this year as the supply of edible oil is recovering. The region is expected to import around 250,000 MT of MPO in the month of October 2022.

Major importers such as Mozambique, Nigeria, and South Africa are expected to import more MPO in the next few months as palm oil prices become more affordable. Besides the price of palm oil in the international market, the import performance of these countries will be based on indicators such as economic recovery, dollar availability, spending power, and others. Emerging countries such as Madagascar, Angola, and the Congo Democratic Republic have the potential to import more Malaysian palm oil as better economic conditions and lower palm oil prices will propel growing domestic demand and growth in the food processing industry. However, a drastic shortage of US Dollars especially in Kenya and Nigeria, and the weakening value of the Kenya Shilling and Nigerian Naira against the US dollar could hamper the facilitation of essential foreign transactions to import palm oil from Malaysia or Indonesia.

Figure 2: Breakdown of MPO Exports (%) Jan-Sep 2022

Source : MPOB

Crude palm oil/olein (CPO/CPL) and cooking oil are the two main MPO palm oil products that are imported into the region. Each product constitutes about 52.67% and 21.48% respectively of the total imports. CPO/CPL imports have decreased by 21.39% to 881,568 MT as compared to 1,121,472 MT during the same period last year due to fewer imports by Nigeria, Ghana, and Mozambique. The top importers of Malaysian CPO/CPL are Kenya (392,295 MT), Nigeria (138,940), Mozambique (110,617 MT), and Togo (63,981 MT). On the other hand, cooking oil imports have increased by 185.51% to reach 359,510 MT from 125,919 MT registered in Jan-Sep 2021. The major importers of cooking oil from the region include Angola (89,312 MT), Tanzania (71,536 MT), and Benin (46,314 MT).

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

PRODUCTJan-Sep 2022Jan-Sep 2021Diff (MT)Diff (%)Jan-Dec 2021
Cooking Oil359,510125,919233,591185.51187,570
RBD PL228,295323,500(95,205)(29.43)463,482
RBD PO39,12726,82412,30345.8629,084
RBD PS68,68338,86429,81876.7267,911

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