The Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) says Africa is a major market for palm oil, with over 228m people on the continent and consumption of less than 5kg/person.
/~West Africa in particular holds great promise for palm oil production, and with 42% of Africa’s population.
It says in its publication, Malaysian Palm Oil Fortune, that domestic production of edible oils in West Africa, such as cottonseed, groundnut and sesame oils, has stagnated, while the planting of soybean is expanding at only 2-3% annually. The acreage under sunflower and palm oil is growing at 3-4% per year.
Palm oil imports have increased steadily in recent years, and rose by 16% between 2000 and 2006. The import market size of oils and fats in sub-Saharan Africa is around 3.2m tons, of which palm oil accounts for 67%. Much of this finds its way into a handful of countries that act as strategic points for distribution within the region.
East Africa, for example, accounts for 34% of imports, mainly through Kenya and Tanzania, while South Africa alone accounts for more than 56% of imported palm oil.
In West Africa, Togo, Benin and Ghana now "appear to be more favourable entry points for palm oil", according to the publication.
It says in 2006, about 880,000 tons of palm oil was shipped to region, compared to 620,000 tons the previous year. Products like cooking oil are being imported in 20-litre jerry cans and in various other pack sizes into these countries, which then also re-export it to neighbouring countries like Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.
Although factors such as infrastructure, storage facilities and roads, pose challenges, not much new investments have taken place despite considerable growth and potential.
- Investors interested in opportunities in oil palm plantations in sub-Sahara Africa, are invited to submit proposals to the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) for possible joint ventures. The closing date for proposals is 8 April 2009. For further details please visit www.mpoc.org.za .
The MPOC is also planning a trade and investment seminar in Accra, Ghana, in March 2010. Delegates from more than 40 countries are expected to attend.
For more information on the proposals and upcoming seminar, please contact Kumar Uthaya at the MPOC’s office in South Africa: Tel +27-31-566-6171; cell +27-82-555-5659; fax +27-31-566-6170; firstname.lastname@example.org