(Business in Cameroon) – The Cameroonian government is currently examining a request made by the Oilseed Industry Regulatory Commission for authorization to import an additional 20,000 tonnes of crude palm oil and its derivatives on preferential terms this year. This was revealed by the Association of Oilseed Refiners (ASROC) during a press conference held on June 10, 2021 in Yaoundé.
Added to the 100,000 tonnes of palm oil that the government has approved for this year, the official volume of palm oil and its derivatives to be imported by the country will be 120,000 tonnes (compared to 90,000 tonnes), official sources indicate.
According to ASROC, the volume of palm oil and by-products to be imported this year is increasing due to the decline in local supplies of refined vegetable oils caused by insufficient local production of crude oil as investments increase. in the processing sector.
As ASROC explains, in recent years, thanks to the incentives provided by the 2013 law (revised in 2017) on private investments in Cameroon, processors (who transform palm oil into refined oil or use it to produce soaps, etc.) have stimulated investment in the palm oil sector, thus significantly increasing the demand for crude palm oil.
Operators estimate the country’s annual structural deficit at 130,000 tonnes. However, according to the explanations of Emmanuel Koulou Ada, president of the Oileseed Industry Regulatory Industry, the real palm oil deficit in Cameroon is much higher than this estimate.
“The structural deficit of 130,000 tonnes we are talking about is only a nominal deficit, different from the real deficit. The nominal deficit is calculated by taking into account only 50% of the capacities of processing companies. If we were to base the deficit on the full capacities of the processors, the deficit would surely be much higher ”, he usually recalls.
ASROC figures estimate the current national demand at over one million tonnes. However, according to the projections of the Ministry of Agriculture, the supply, which rose from 343,000 tonnes in 2014 to 413,000 tonnes in 2018, would rise to 450,000 tonnes in 2020. Hence the regular use of imports. to meet local demand.
Brice R. Mbodiam