Nigeria’s Palm Oil Imports From Malaysia Surge By 65.3%, Driving Concerns Of Local Industry Viability

Daud Olatunji

In a startling development, Nigeria’s palm oil imports from Malaysia, a prominent global producer, have skyrocketed by 65.3% during the first nine months of 2023. Data from the Malaysian Palm Oil Council indicates a substantial increase from 2022, with imports surging to 234,324 metric tons. 

Despite the government’s protective measures, concerns loom over the local palm oil industry’s viability.

Nigeria, one of the world’s largest consumers of palm oil, is grappling with a significant rise in palm oil imports from Malaysia.

According to the latest data obtained from the Malaysian Palm Oil Council, imports surged by a staggering 65.3% during the first nine months of 2023, raising concerns about the viability of the local palm oil industry.

The data reveals that between January and September 2023, Nigeria’s palm oil imports from Malaysia reached an astounding 234,324 metric tons, marking a stark increase from the 141,786 metric tons imported during the same period in 2022.

This remarkable surge indicates an addition of 92,538 metric tons within just one year.

Nigeria has been imposing stringent measures, including a 35% tariff (comprising a 10% duty and 25% levy), to protect its domestic palm oil industry and foster growth.

However, despite these protective policies, Nigerians continue to favor imported palm oil over locally produced alternatives. This trend can be attributed to the persistent and substantial demand-supply gap.

Experts estimate that Nigeria’s palm oil output falls between 900,000 and 1.3 million metric tons.

In contrast, imports are valued at over N500 billion annually, emphasizing the dominance of imported palm oil in the market. With a national demand for 2.1 million metric tons, the supply gap is approximately 800,000 metric tons.

This worrisome scenario has led to concerns about the nation’s ability to achieve food sufficiency, as pointed out by Kabir Ibrahim, the National President of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria.

The government’s efforts to bolster the local palm oil industry seem to face an uphill battle, with the allure of imported palm oil continuing to win over the Nigerian consumer base.

In addition to Malaysia, the report also highlights other significant importers of Nigerian palm oil, including India, China, Kenya, Netherlands, Japan, and Turkey.

The surge in imports from Malaysia has ignited discussions about the sustainability and competitiveness of Nigeria’s palm oil sector, raising questions about the future of the nation’s palm oil industry.

Source : Punch

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