KARACHI (January 06 2005): Pakistan edible oil imports are likely toremain low in the near-term due to an increased supply of domesticcottonseed, putting pressure on prices in the local market, dealers saidon Wednesday. Pakistan expects output of cottonseed, one of its majorsources of vegetable oil, to hit 580,000 tonnes this season, up from theprevious year's 400,000 tonnes on the back of a bumper cotton crop in the2004/05 (April-February) crop year.
"Domestic prices are going down because of the increased supply of localcottonseed," said dealer Pervez Aminuddin. "People are using thecottonseed, which is cheaper than imported oils."
Domestic cottonseed is one of Pakistan's major sources of vegetable oil.It is mixed or blended with palm oil and soyoil.
Dealers said there were around 100,000 tonnes of palm oil and palm oleinstocks available in the market and another 45,000 tonnes were expected toarrive in coming weeks.
Another dealer, Akbar Puri, said he expected some import orders in thenext couple of weeks as international prices appeared attractive.
"Pakistan importers are not looking to buy heavily, but there will be somebuying."
Pakistan imports about 800,000 tonnes of oilseeds and about 1.3 milliontonnes of edible oil products annually, led by palm oil and palm olein.Its annual demand is 1.9 million tonnes.