06 October 2002 (Business Times) - IRAN, a traditional soyabean oilbuyer, seeks some 40,000 tonnes of Malaysian palm oil for delivery beforethe end of this year.
The Malaysian Palm Oil Promotion Council (MPOPC) said the IranianGovernment Trading Corp had expressed this at an informal meeting in KualaLumpur last week.
The tender may well be worth RM52 million based on the commodity’s currentaverage price of RM1,300 a tonne.
It is understood that an Iranian trade mission may officially announce thetender today at the MPOPC’s headquarters in Kelana Jaya, Selangor.
The Iranian entourage, comprising officials from its Government and theprivate sector, will announce the tender after a briefing by the council’schief executive officer Datuk Haron Siraj.
The delegates have been invited by the council under its “Palm Oil TradeAwareness Programme” for traders from Iran. The five-day programme startstoday, the council said in a statement.
Iran bought 15,207 tonnes of palm oil worth RM17.3 million in 2000. Lastyear, the purchase increased more than fourfold to 69,439 tonnes in volumeand RM67.2 million in value. It bought 721,000 tonnes of soyabean lastyear.
For the first eight months of this year, Iran imported a total of 62,221tonnes of palm oil from Malaysia, an increase of 1.5 per cent from 61,322tonnes for the same period in 2001.
“The amount may be small, but it marks a significant milestone forMalaysia’s palm oil industry as it shows awareness of the commodity isincreasing.
“Furthermore, Iran is the perfect launchpad for Malaysia to penetratenearby eastern European countries of the former Soviet Union, which havethe potential to import 200,000 tonnes,” said an industry executive.
These countries include Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine,Georgia, Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania and Kazakhstan.
Iran is becoming an important market for palm oil where it is used as rawmaterial for their vegetable ghee production, while palm olein is gainingground in the frying oil sector.
“More Iranian companies are now taking the opportunity to import oilsdirectly into the country, thus reducing the role of the GovernmentTrading Agency,” said the council.
The five-day programme includes briefings and field vists to the MalaysianPalm Oil Board, United Plantations Bhd, Primary Industries Ministry,Malaysia Derivatives Exchange, Pasir Gudang and interaction with variousassociations and companies in Malaysia.
Malaysia is the world’s largest producer of palm oil, accounting for 50per cent of the world’s production. It produced 11.8 million tonnes lastyear, of which 10.6 million tonnes worth RM10.1 billion were exported to140 countries.