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NEWS ADMIN

Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani

DATE

09/03/2005

NEWS PROVIDER

Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani

NEWS SOURCE

FinancialExpress

CATEGORY

HEADLINE

Palm oil refiners pump in huge money to upgrade pl
3/9/2005 Bangladesh - Major palm oil refiners of the country haveinvested huge amount of money to upgrade their plants to ensure superquality transparent palm oil aiming at grabbing a share from dominatingsoybean market, industry sources said."Over the years more than Tk 1.0 billion have been invested oninstallation of super palm refining equipment in some refineries," saidFakhrul Alam, country representative of the Malaysian Palm Oil PromotionCouncil (MPOPC) in Bangladesh.He said that the improvement has helped super palm oil refining of morethan 1000 tonnes a day and the capacity will rise to 3000 tonnes in thecurrent year.Among major edible oil refiners of the country City Group, Meghna Groupand TK Group have developed significant capacity for super palm refining,Alam said.A Rouf Chowdhury, chairman of the Bangladesh edible oil refinersassociation, said the edible oil refineries were investing huge money aspart of their survival strategy taken to meet market demand.Chowdhury said nearly half of the country's roughly 60 edible oilrefineries have been forced to suspend their operation due to high priceof crude soybean in the international market.Market sources said retailers across the country are selling super palmoil to consumers in the name of soybean oil. The fine and transparent oilgives a look of soybean and is sold at prices lower by Tk 7-8 perkilogram.The wholesale price of super palm is Tk 34.58 per kilogram while soybeanoil is being sold at Tk 42.63, but retailers sell super palm oil at Tk51-52."During summer, nearly 90 per cent of the edible oil sold at Moulvibazaris super palm oil," said Mohammed Ali, a trader of the country's largestcommodity wholesale market.Palm oil that gets thicker in winter brings down its demand, but the superpalm oil remains normal at a temperature of up to 10 degrees."Refiners are telling us that they would supply super palm refined withsuperior technology that will not get condensed in winter," Ali said.atistics showed that in 2004 the country imported 690,000 tonnes of crudepalm oil, an increase by more than 30 per cent over the previous year. Thesoybean oil import in the year stood at 320,000 tonnes, a fall by about 25per cent. Import of the mustard and rape seeds reached 167,000 tonnes in2004.Edible oil consumption in the country is estimated at 1.2 million tonnes.Local annual production of mustard oil is only 100,000 tonnes.