ISLAMABAD (August 10 2003) : Palm oil covers around 80 percent of totalimports of oils in Pakistan and is the second highest import after crudeoil (petroleum).
Palm oil is being used as a single major ingredient in manufacturing ofvanaspati ghee for quite some time now.
Pakistan is importing 70 percent palm oil of its total requirement fromMalaysia and Indonesia while remaining 30 percent comes from localproduction.
Out of the total imports of palm oil, 80 percent is being imported fromMalaysia and 20 percent from Indonesia.
Pakistan's total import of different edible oils stands at around 1.6million tons.
Malaysian Palm oil carries the national image of Malaysia and is importedby 130 countries around the world, said Faisal Iqbal, country manager ofMalaysia Palmoil Promotion Council (MPOPC) in Pakistan here on Saturday.
Addressing a press conference here, he said the negative campaign againstthe quality of palm oil was developing worries among the consumers aswell.
He said that Ghee Corporation of Pakistan had been importing palm oil for25 years.
"The government is also making efforts through a pilot project to grow oilpalm trees along the coastal belt of Thatta and Badin in Sindh.
Now the government is considering to develop it on commercial basis. TheMalaysian government has gifted palm saplings planted over an area of 600acres," he added.
"Deficiency of edible oil started emerging back in 1970s when thesufficiency level within the country was around 70 percent comparing toonly 30 percent import.
However, with the rapid increase in population the ratio reversed," hetold newsmen.
Pakistan started importing palm oil from Malaysia in 1970s to meet thedeficiency and in 1995-96 palm oil import reached one million tonsannually.
However, with the dissolution of GCP, trade went to the private sector andPakistan Vanaspati Manufacturers Association emerged as the major importerof palm oil over the years.
Faisal said that Palm oil is imported with different fractions includingRefined, Bleached, Deodorised (RBD) palm oil, Palm Olein and RBD PalmStearin.
There are around 100 palm oil importers in the country.