Myanmar increases imports of palm oil to meet demand

27 October 2015
Myanmar increases imports of palm oil to meet demand
An aerial picture made available on 10 May 2013 shows palm oil plantations in Indragiri Hulu, Riau province, Indonesia, 04 May 2013. Photo: Bagus Indahono/EPA

Myanmar imported 400,000 tons of palm oil annually to fill demand of edible oil as an alternative, according to a Xinhua report on October 25. 
The increase in palm oil imports is due to a lacklustre production of locally produced cooking oils.
Domestic edible oil produced from peanuts is 500,000 tons a year, while edible oil consumption is 900,000 tons, according to the Edible Oil Dealers' Association. The association attributed the low edible oil production to a drop in the number of peanut oil mills in operation nationwide.
Since 2011, the Myanmar authorities have granted private companies permission to import palm oil from Malaysia and Indonesia in a bid to meet the demand.
Malaysian entrepreneurs have introduced their palm oil to the Myanmar market over the past few years.
Palm oil production is big business. But as the massive fires lit in Indonesia and the destruction of forests to clear land for palm oil plantations have demonstrated, the effects of poorly managed plantation practice can have a serious effect on the environment and people’s health.