01/05/2008 (Gulf Daily News), Manama - Malaysian palm oil exports to Bahrain reached 986 metric tonnes (mt) last year, according to latest reports from the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC).
With the aim of leveraging the growing demand for edible oil within the country's local snack food and catering industries, leading manufacturers from Bahrain are set to participate at the first Malaysia-UAE Palm Oil Trade Fair & Seminar (POTS) 2008.
It is being organised by MPOC and the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) and will run from May 26 to 27 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Dubai.
Within the last five years, the GCC has become a very important destination for Malaysian palm oil, with total exports of the product to the region averaging at around 500,000mt annually.
Though a relatively smaller market, Bahraini consumers have exhibited favourable reception to the product, recording imports of 500mt in 2003 and 589mt in 2004. The trend has taken a significant upturn the following two years, after 943mt and 1091mt of Malaysian palm oil were shipped to the country in 2005 and 2006 respectively.
"Bahrain has become a leading target for Malaysian palm oil exports due to increasing local demand for the product in the domestic and industrial sectors," said MPOC regional director Ahmad Zafri Zawawi.
"In addition, its strategic geographical location and the existence of other business encouraging factors within the country have significantly expanded the business for a majority of local companies, who will be participating at the first POTS 2008 to leverage the growing demands in the local and regional market."
The UAE, Oman and Saudi Arabia have topped the list of major Malaysian palm oil importers due to their efforts to become leading centres for refining and subsequent distribution to the Middle East.
The UAE imported 354,009mt of Malaysian palm oil, while Oman has traded in a total of 96,359mt.