First cargo of imported palm oil arrives

First cargo of imported palm oil arrives

The first 9,000 tonnes of imported crude palm oil intended to ease a supply shortage arrived a port in Samut Prakan on Friday and will be distributed to refineries for eventual bottling as cooking oil.

The first lot of 9,000 tonnes of crude palm oil arrived the Siam Gas port in Samut Prakan province on Friday. (Photo by Pattarachai Prechapanich)

The tanker vessel berthed at the Siam Gas port.

The imported oil will be sold to 11 members of the Oil Refinery Association of Thailand to be refined,  bottled and sold at the capped price of 42 baht a litre. 

The cabinet on Jan 20 approved the import of 50,000 tonnes of crude palm oil, expected to be completed in mid-February, to prevent a shortage during the end of the harvesting season of fresh palm nuts.

Jintana Chaiyawan, chairman of the board of the Public Warehouse Organsiation, the marketing arm of the Commerce Ministry, said the imports would produce 37-40 million litres of cooking palm oil.

The second lot of 14,000 tonnes would arrive on Feb 8, followed by another 12,200 tonnes on Feb 10, 9,000 tonnes on Feb 11-12 and the last lot of 5,780 tonnes by Feb 13.

She said the survey of prices of mixed-grade fresh palm nut was between 5.40-6.40 baht a kilo, which was price that satisfied farmers, so the imports would not impact the price of fresh products. 

The ministry will closely monitor the situation and ask palm nut crushers to buy fresh palm nuts at not less  than five baht a kilo, while refineries buy crude palm oil from the crushers at the market price, now at about 35-36 baht a kilo. 

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