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March 8, 2024

MIDDLE EAST & BALKAN REGION

Malaysian Palm Oil Exports Performance
January 2024

Regional Summary

The Middle East and Balkan region accounted for 12% of the total Malaysian palm oil exported in January 2024.  Palm oil is the main product composition of Malaysian palm oil and palm products exported, with a market share of 80% or 209,361 MT of the total Malaysian palm oil and products exported to the region. The remaining 20% are made of palm-based oleochemical (7%), PKO (7%) and finished products (6%).

Table 1: Malaysian Palm Oil and Palm Product Export to the Middle East & Balkan
Product Group Jan 2024 Jan 2023 Change (MT) Change (%)
Palm Oil 209,361 206,754 2,607 1.26
Palm-based Oleo 19,634 19,693 (59) (0.30)
Palm Kernel Oil 18,779 18,897 (118) (0.62)
Finished Products 14,897 13,463 1,434 10.65
Other Palm Products 0 228 (228) (100.00)
Grand Total 262,671 259,034 3,637 1.40

Featured Analysis

  • Turkiye is the leading importer of Malaysian palm oil in this region with a volume of 81,012 MT. The country has recorded a drop in imports with 12.96% of Malaysian palm oil.  Higher import of palm oil in the last quarter of 2023 affected the total import in January 2024. However, palm oil intake is expected to be higher in February and March to facilitate the requirement for the upcoming Muslim festivals in the region.
  • Iran imports increased by 32.38% or 15,788 MT compared to last year to a total of 64,548 MT. This brought Iran ranked as the second largest MPO importer in the region for January 2024.
  • Saudi Arabia is the third largest importer of MPO in the region, with import volume of 35,278 MT. The volume is 52.96% or 12,215MT higher than the volume imported in January 2023. The growth is to supplement higher demand from the domestic HORECA sector, due the growing number of tourists and the Umrah pilgrimage in the recent month.
  • Political uncertainties in the region as a result of the Palestine-Israel conflict and the Houthi movement in Yemen lead to panic buying among importers. Some of the cargo ships are diverting to Dammam Port instead of Jeddah and Yanbu Port, which incur higher shipping cost.
  • The UAE imported 7,432 MT of Malaysian palm oil and the volume is slightly higher than the corresponding period of last year. The Indonesian palm oil (IPO) gained a stronger demand due to the discounted price offered in the market.
  • RBD palm olein stands out as the most demanded palm oil fraction in the Middle East region, constituting 51% of the total imported palm oil products. Turkiye and Iran are the biggest importers of the RBD palm olein in this region contributing to 93% of the total RBD PL imported. Out of this volume, 1,794 MT to Turkey was RSPO-

Middle East

 

Country

Jan 2024

Jan 2023

Change (MT)

Change (%)

1

TURKIYE

81,012

93,077

(12,065)

(12.96)

2

IRAN

64,548

48,761

15,788

32.38

3

SAUDI ARABIA

35,278

23,063

12,215

52.96

4

U.A.E

7,432

7,115

317

4.45

5

YEMEN ARAB REP.

6,436

15,915

(9,479)

(59.56)

6

QATAR

3,664

2,134

1,530

71.72

7

IRAQ

3,334

1,414

1,920

135.79

8

KUWAIT

3,295

2,087

1,208

57.90

9

OMAN

1,534

6,783

(5,249)

(77.39)

10

JORDAN

1,315

3,131

(1,816)

(58.00)

11

BAHRAIN

718

583

135

23.14

12

LEBANON

636

722

(86)

(11.91)

13

SYRIA

95

1,927

(1,833)

(95.10)

14

PALESTINE

0

42

(42)

(100.00)

 

Grand Total

209,295

206,754

2,541

1.23

Source: MPOB

 

Imports of Malaysian palm oil by the Middle East region registered a volume of 209,296 MT, which is 2,541 MT or 1.23% higher compared to the same period of 2023. Turkiye is the leading importer of Malaysian palm oil in this region with a volume of 81,012 MT.  The country has recorded 12.96% drop in imports of Malaysian palm oil.    Higher import of palm oil in the last quarter of 2023 affected January 2024 imports.  However, it is expected that the intake in February and March to be higher, to facilitate higher demand as observed the upcoming major Muslim festivals.

Imports of MPO to Iran in January 2024 increased by 32.38% or 15,788 MT compared to last year to a total of 64,548 MT. Iran is the second largest MPO importer in the region for January 2024. Saudi came third with a total import of 35,278 MT and the volume recorded an increase of 52.96% or 12,215 MT y-o-y. The growth is to supplement higher demand from the domestic HORECA sector, due the growing number of tourists and the Umrah pilgrimage in the recent month.

Regional conflicts and political uncertainty in the region, as a result of the Palestine-Israel conflict and the Houthi movement in Yemen lead to panic buying from importers. Some of the cargo ships are diverted to Dammam Port instead of Jeddah and Yanbu Port, which incur higher shipping costs.

The UAE imported 7,432 MT of Malaysian palm oil and the volume is slightly higher than the corresponding period of last year. Demand for Indonesian palm oil (IPO) in the market is growing as IPO is being offered at a discounted price to MPO.

Other countries that recorded an increase were Qatar (71.72%), Iraq (135.79%), Kuwait (57.90%) and Bahrain (23.14%). While countries that registered a drop in imports of MPO were Yemen (59.56%), Oman (77.39%), Jordan (58.00%), Lebanon (11.91%) and Syria (95.10%).

Product Jan 2024 Jan 2023 Change (MT) Change (%)
RBD PL 104,767 99,946 4,822 4.82
CPL 34,003 12,000 22,003 183.35
RBD PS 24,849 20,439 4,410 21.58
RBD PO 23,076 42,683 (19,607) (45.94)
Cooking Oil 21,155 29,841 (8,687) (29.11)
Others 1,446 1,845 (399) (21.65)
Grand Total 209,295 206,754 2,542 1.23
Source: MPOB

RBD palm olein is the most imported palm oil fraction in this region which accounted for 50% of the total palm oil products imported into the region. Most of the RBD palm olein in this region was imported by traditional markets such as Turkiye and Iran, accounting for 93% of the total RBD PL imported into the region. Out of this volume, 1,794 MT to Turkey was RSPO-certified PL.

Balkan

Country Jan 2024 Jan 2023 Change (MT) Change (%)
1 Macedonia 65 0 65 65
Grand Total 65 0 65 65
Source: MPOB The Balkan region comprising Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia. Only Macedonia imported a palm oil from Malaysia. During the period of January 2024, the country imported 65 MT of Malaysian palm oil. The region is mainly a sunflower-producing region, and the higher sunflower seed output has impacted palm oil imports. For this period, RBD Palm Oil is the only oil fraction imported by the region.
Product Jan 2024 Jan 2023 Change (MT) Change (%)
RBD PO 65 0 65
Grand Total 65 0 65

 

For more info please contact Mr. Suhaili
Email : msuhaili@mpoc.org.my

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