The price of palm oil escalated at over K7,000 per viss (a viss equals 1.6 kilogrammes) in Yangon markets.
The Supervisory Committee on edible oil import and distribution under the Ministry of Commerce has been closely observing the FOB prices in Malaysia and Indonesia including transport costs, tariffs and banking services, and issuing the wholesale market reference rate for edible oil every week. The wholesale reference rate of palm oil for the Yangon market for a week from 27 February to 5 March is set at K4,600 per viss.
Nevertheless, there is a large price difference between the reference and the market price.
The Ministry of Commerce is striving for consumers not to worry over the supply of edible oil. The ministry is also trying to secure edible oil sufficiency, supervise the market to offer reasonable prices to the consumers and maintain price stability.
At present, mobile market trucks operated by oil importing companies, in coordination with Myanmar Edible Oil Dealers’ Association, were back to business in some townships on 17 July to offer palm oil at a subsidized rate. They offer palm oil at K4,800 per viss to consumers directly at present. However, there are limited sources of supply although they directly sell palm oil at a reference rate depending on the volume quota.
The domestic consumption of edible oil is estimated at 1 million tonnes per year. The local cooking oil production is just about 400,000 tonnes. To meet the oil sufficiency in the domestic market, about 700,000 tonnes of cooking oil are yearly imported through Malaysia and Indonesia.
Union Commerce Minister U Aung Naing Oo had a discussion with the edible oil distributors, oil millers and representatives regarding increasing edible oil production and oil self-sufficiency on 24 February 2023 at the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
The Union Minister gave a remark at the meeting that self-sufficiency in edible oil is a priority. We will step for the oil-exporting country from the importing country beyond self-sufficiency, with concerted efforts of all stakeholders in the supply chain including oil seed growers, oil millers, importers and distributors. He encouraged private sector participation to ramp up oil seed production. The Ministry of Commerce will strive to penetrate external markets.
The edible oil entrepreneurs, oil millers and distributors also called for bridging upstream works (oil seed production) and downstream processes (milling and distribution), raising amount for agricultural loans for the oil seeds, importation of seeds for sunflower cultivation, price stability and government’s support to strive demand force for peanut and sesame raw materials in milling businesses.
The oil importing companies also requested the State to cooperate in oil seed production and milling processes and provide infrastructure to fully run the milling operations for 24 hours and grant loans for the millers. — NN/EM