Skip links
March 8, 2024

SOUTH ASIA REGION

Malaysian Palm Oil Export to South Asia Region
January 2024

Regional Summary

South Asia region accounted for 15% of the total Malaysian palm oil exported in January 2024.  Palm oil assumed an important composition of Malaysian palm oil palm products exported to the region with market share 87% or 276,077 MT of the total Malaysian palm oil and products exported worldwide, followed by palm-based oleochemical (8%), palm kernel oil (4%) and finished products (1%).

Table 1: Malaysian Palm Oil and Palm Product Export to South Asia
Products Jan 2024 Jan 2023 Change (MT) Change (%)
Palm Oil 276,077 255,218 20,858 8.17
Palm-Based Oleo 24,669 19,517 5,152 26.40
Palm Kernel Oil 12,809 9,138 3,671 40.18
Finished Products 3,798 2,911 887 30.45
Palm Kernel Cake 1,568 55,000 (53,432) (97.15)
Other Palm Products 220 181 39 21.88
Grand Total 319,141 341,964 (22,824) (6.67)
Source: MPOB

Featured Analysis

  • India recorded a total of 1.19 million MT of edible oils imports in January 2024, a 9.2% decrease from the previous month. Imports of palm oil declined, reaching a three-month low, as refiners opted for rival soybean oil due to unfavourable refining margins for crude palm oil (CPO), according to information provided by major market participants.
  • The data revealed a 12% decrease in palm oil imports, totalling 787,000 MT, with crude palm oil imports falling even further by 16% to 541,000 MT. This decline was attributed primarily to a significant reduction in CPO purchases, as refiners found refined bleached deodorized (RBD) palm olein more economically viable.
  • The shift towards soybean oil was evident as its imports surged by 24% in January, reaching 190,000 MT, driven by competitive soybean oil prices compared to palm products, along with positive refining margins. However, this figure remains below the monthly average of 306,000 MT.
  • Sunflower oil imports experienced a decline of 19% in January, to a total of 211,000 MT. This drop was attributed to increased costs resulting from higher freight rates following Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping, according to industry sources.
  • It is anticipated that there will be a significant rise in soybean oil imports in the coming months, given the decreased premium over palm oil and sunflower oil, making it more attractive.
  • The reduced import volumes by India has also caused a decline in domestic vegetable oil stocks, hence Indian purchases could pick up in the upcoming months.
  • Imports of vegetable oils are projected to increase for Pakistan and Bangladesh in anticipation for the upcoming Ramadan that will commence in March.

South Asia

During Jan 2024 period, MPO exports to the South Asian region registered a total of 276,077 MT against 255,218 MT which was registered during the same period of last year, an increase of 20,858 MT or by 8.17%. India holds the biggest market share of 69% as the largest importer of MPO in this region. Afghanistan remains the market with positive import growth, as cooking oil import continues to be on the upward trend from 16,943 MT to 23,709 MT. 

Table 2: Malaysian Palm Export to South Asian Countries

 

COUNTRY

Jan 2024

Jan 2023

Diff (Vol)

Diff (%)

1

India

191,587

186,082

5,506

2.96

2

Pakistan

51,353

39,463

11,890

30.13

3

Afghanistan

23,709

16,943

6,766

39.93

4

Bangladesh

7,904

12,238

(4,334)

(35.42)

5

Sri Lanka

620

9

611

6,785.22

6

Maldives

492

346

147

42.41

7

Nepal

412

137

274

199.50

 

Total

276,077

255,218

20,858

8.17

 Source: MPOB

In Jan 2024, MPO exports to India marginally increased by 2.96% and this could be attributed to notable decline in CPO purchase in the country reportedly due to unfavourable refining margins for CPO as compared to rival soybean oil which made refined bleached deodorized (RBD) palm olein more economically viable. MPO exports to Pakistan also went up by 30.13% likely due to lower edible oil stocks at ports and the upcoming Ramadan month.  MPO exports to Afghanistan registered an increase of 39.93% as local importers are relying more on direct imports of palm oil and its finished products rather than importing from Pakistan. Meanwhile, MPO exports to Bangladesh registered a decrease of 35.42% reflecting the overall decline of palm oil imports into the country. This could be due to the shortage of foreign exchange and high domestic prices.

Regional Summary

South Asia region accounted for 15% of the total Malaysian palm oil exported in January 2024.  Palm oil assumed an important composition of Malaysian palm oil palm products exported to the region with market share 87% or 276,077 MT of the total Malaysian palm oil and products exported worldwide, followed by palm-based oleochemical (8%), palm kernel oil (4%) and finished products (1%).

Table 3: Break down of MPO into South Asia Market
  Jan 2024 Jan 2023 Diff
(MT)
Diff
(%)
CPO 158,767 161,559 (2,792) (1.73)
CO 43,856 28,149 15,707 55.80
RBD PL 42,879 45,220 (2,341) (5.18)
CPL 12,004 0 12,004
RBD PO 8,837 2,381 6,455 271.07
RBD PS 3,664 3,585 79 2.21
PFAD 3,453 6,644 (3,190) (48.02)
PAO 1,283 927 356 38.39
Others 1,334 6,753 (5,420) (80.25)
Total 276,077 255,218 20,858 8.17

For more info please contact
Mrs Azriyah Email : azriyah@mpoc.org.my

*Disclaimer: This document has been prepared based on information from sources believed to be reliable but we do not make any representations as to its accuracy. This document is for information only and opinion expressed may be subject to change without notice and we will not accept any responsibility and shall not be held responsible for any loss or damage arising from or in respect of any use or misuse or reliance on the contents. We reserve our right to delete or edit any information on this site at any time at our absolute discretion without giving any prior notice.