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 Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani
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 Pakistan inching towards palm oil supply crisis

ISLAMABAD, 9/27/2001(Financial Times Information Limited) - Pakistan isinching towards sever shortage of palm oil as commodity's supply hasdiscontinued due to danger of looming US attack on Afghanistan. Theimporters of palm oil could neither get their due shipments nor place neworders as none of the shipping companies were ready to sail to Pakistanafter the air crash incidents in New York and Washington.Talking to Business Recorder, President Pakistan Ghee Manufacturers,Shaikh Ikram said: "The country is facing alarming situation as palm oilstocks are shrinking quickly. We have informed the concerned quarters thatif the blockade continued it would result in shooting up of prices."According to market analysts, cooking oil and ghee price may increase from10 percent to 15 percent after two weeks if supply of imported palm oleinand palm oil could not be restored.When contacted an official of the Commerce Ministry said the governmentwas weighing various options for the restoration of palm oil supply fromMalaysia including one, war-risk premium.Price of cooking oil and ghee are already touching an all time high in theopen market due to difference between tanker owners and palm oil importerson fares from Karachi to various cities.Pakistan has palm oil stocks for two weeks and the government wasexpecting some positive development before the situation aggravates, hopesthe official.Sensing the gravity of the situation, the Federation of Pakistan Chambersof Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) had already warned the government thatthe blockade might take a turn for the worse if the supply remainedsuspended for a long time. In particular, it mentioned commodities forwhich Pakistan is dependent on other countries.The FPCCI demanded that the government should formulate a contingency planwith the private sector's involvement to cope with the situationconfronted with the country.In the case of a number of essential items, Pakistan heavily depends onother countries. Palm oil, tea, chemicals, life saving drugs, fertiliserswere included in the list of imported items.

Malaysian Palm Oil Board ( MPOB ) Lot 6, SS6, Jalan Perbandaran, 47301 Kelana Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, MALAYSIA.
Tel : 603 - 7802 2800 || Fax : 603 - 7803 3533