Turkey’s Palm Oil Imports Weakened in September Amid Lower Food Manufacturing Activities and Weakening Lira

Palm oil in Turkey is expected to drop around 10 percent for 2020 as compared to 2019 as reported earlier to due to negative demand from the food services sector, especially due to the dwindling number of arrivals for tourists and business travellers to Turkey.

Jan – Sep 2020 imports reached 620,635 tonnes; 129,579 tonnes jumped from 491,056 tonnes of palm oil imported in Jan – Sep 2019. The significant imports came from Indonesia that managed only 11,295 tonnes last year, to 158,547 tonnes in 2020.

Jan – Sept 2020 Jan – Sept 2019
Malaysia 461,302 74.33% 479,050 97.56% -17,748
Indonesia 158,547 25.55% 11,295 2.30% 147,251
Others 786 0.13% 711 0.14% 76
Total 620,635 491,056 129,579

Source: TUIK

90,148 tonnes of palm oil were imported by Turkey in September 2020 according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK), of which 46,497 tonnes are from Malaysia, 43,457 tonnes from Indonesia and the rest is from other countries. Upon further investigations, this amount is from companies that used Turkey as a transhipment hub before pushing it to Russia, Syria, Germany, and Iraq that amounted to 30,780 tonnes.

Sept 2020 Sept 2019 Diff
Malaysia 46,597 51.69% 53,702 99.92% -7,104
Indonesia 43,457 48.21% 0 0.00% 43,457
Others 93 0.10% 41 0.08% 53
Total 90,148 53,742 36,405

Source: TUIK

Countries (Re-Export, Sep 2020) Volume (Tonnes)
Russia 29,109
Iraq 1,571
Others 99
TOTAL 30,780

Source: TUIK

Domestic usage in Turkey, reflected in Malaysia palm oil market share, dropped 3.61 percent due to reasons stated earlier. September recorded a drop from the previous months as stocks are sufficient plus a drop in food manufacturing sector amid the weakening Turkish Lira causing cost for production input to increase. According to Istanbul Chamber of Industry, the food products sector was one of only two to record a slowdown in output at the end of the third quarter. The renewed moderation in the sector followed a first expansion for five months in August. New orders also eased, while employment was scaled back for the first time in four months.

Jan – Aug 2020 by Products
Imports (kg) RBD OLEIN STEARIN PKO PKC TOTAL
Malaysia 143,802 200,501 93,703 36,046 0 474,052
Indonesia 71,999 19,348 4,707 4,600 56,201 156,855
Total 215,801 219,849 98,411 40,646 56,201 630,908

Source: TUIK

RBD palm oil and palm olein continue to be the main products imported into Turkey as it is being used mainly in the food and fats manufacturing industry, followed by stearin and palm kernel oil which is used in the bakery and confectionery sector.

Outlook 2020

A renewed outlook on total imports in Turkey is revised from 10 percent drop to around the same level last year at 630,000 tonnes. Despite weakness in food manufacturing in September, production of fats and confectionery has been encouraging especially from the export markets.

Higher new orders and production requirements spurred purchasing activity for the fourth month running in September. It highlighted that rates of both input cost and output price inflation accelerated further amid currency weakness. On a more positive note, some firms indicated that a weaker currency had aided their competitiveness in export markets. The growth in demand from this sector will cover the stunted demand from the food services sector.

MPOC Regional Office
Istanbul, Turkey

Prepared by:   Muhammad Hafezh

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