Commerce minister: No more palm oil imports needed to feed domestic demand


BANGKOK, 3 March 2015 – The Ministry of Commerce’s subcommittee on the management of oil palm and palm oil has asserted that no further importation of palm oil is needed to feed domestic demand.

General Chatchai Sarikulya, the minister of commerce, revealed after Monday’s meeting of the subcommittee that surveys by the Department of Internal Trade and the Office of Agricultural Economics have found that oil palm has been reaching the market in greater quantities. 889,000 tons of the produce is expected to reach the market in March, a significant increase from the 614,000 tons that reached the market in January. Meanwhile, raw oil palm stockpile was recorded at 124,000 tons on February 25. This figure is expected to increase to 155,000 tons in March, which would be adequate for domestic demand. Therefore, there is no need to import more raw palm oil, Gen. Chatchai said. The palm oil situation is also expected to return to normal in April, when the stockpile of raw oil palm is expected to rise to the normal level at 210,000 tons.

In order to sustainably resolve the palm oil issue, the Ministry of Commerce has established a working committee whose members comprises representatives from four sectors, which includes farmers, businesses, consumers and state agencies. The working committee will, within one month, come up with ways to foster balance between price and production. In the meantime, businesses will be asked to buy good quality palm fruit at no less than five baht per kilogram, the minister added.

According to Gen. Chatchai, the 50,000 tons of imported raw palm oil has been converted into 32.65 million liters of palm oil for cooking, and 4.65 million liters still remain.