23/03/05 - KARACHI: Lack of buying interest in soybean oil marred auctionof the commodity on Tuesday by Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP),which managed to sell only 1,100 out of 33,000 tonnes of the productgranted by Japan.
A senior official in the state-run commodity trading agency said the TCPoffered total 11,000 tonnes of soybean sensing lack of buying interest butmanaged to sell only 1,100 tonnes which fetch total Rs 47 million. "Totaleight buyers finalised deal with the TCP," said the official. "The mainreason behind traders’ dull interest was larger import of canola and palmoil, which has almost replaced soybean variety in the local market."
Furthermore, he said the prices of soybean oil in international marketwere higher than other varieties, which inspired the importers to avoiddeal in the particular product.
The Japanese government last month granted 33,790 metric tonnes soybeanoil as part of total 61,000 metric tonnes aid the Asian country extendedto Pakistan during this fiscal.
The country had already received and auctioned first consignment of 28,000metric tonnes of the imported commodity and the TCP last week announced tohold final auction for the last consignment.
However, the official said as per the mechanism the TCP would offer theremaining quantity for auction in Lahore later this week, which mightattract more buyers in the deal. "We are not selling it for profitabledeal," said the official. "Whatever we receive after finalising the dealis counted profit for exchequer as the soybean, we are selling has beenreceived totally as grant which does not involve any investment." Tradersbelieve currently the international market offers soybean variety at $552per metric tonne and the cost of the received consignments from Japan hassaved $34.22 million of the exchequer. Traders believe though the TCPsucceeded to sell 1,100 tonnes of soybean, fresh arrival into the marketwould not affect the prices in a big way which are already stable.
"Currently the cottonseed, palm oil and canola are the major varietiesavailable in the local market," said Nishat Hasan, a producer and importerof edible oil.
"The prices of these varieties are stable as palm oil stands at Rs 1,625per maund and same is the price of RBD palm olein.