Cooking oil industry regains capacity

Source: Cooking oil industry regains capacity – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 5, 2017

THE cooking oil industry is operating at between 50 and 60% of capacity following import restrictions imposed by government in the past three years, an industry official has said.


Oil Expressers Association of Zimbabwe president, Busisa Moyo, told NewsDay that the industry had regained capacity following import restriction measures put by government in the past three years.

However, he lamented that raw material shortages on the local market were presenting a challenge, forcing the industry to import crude oils.

“We are still importing crude oils and need 120 000mt to 150 000mt to partly substitute imports. Yes, they have (import restrictions have benefited us) as we have grown from three players to seven,” Moyo, who is also the United Refineries chief executive officer, said.

“[We are operating at] 50 to 60% (capacity) because the industry now has more players. Local oil seeds are a challenge and vitamin fortification needs 18-24 months before implementation,” he said.

Zimbabwe spends about $220 million annually in importing raw materials.

To avoid cooking oil shortages on the market, government has since placed crude oils (soybean, sunflower and rapeseed) on the critical list of import requirements.

Local manufacturers then value add the crude oil to produce cooking oil.

Cooking oil imports have stopped due to the introduction of Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016, which bans the importation of cooking oil, building materials and other products into the country.

Oil producers have a capacity to supply 12 000 tonnes of cooking oil per month to meet the local demand of 10 000 tonnes.

The country which has a monthly requirement of 11 500 metric tonnes of cooking oil has previously relied on cheaper imports mainly from neighbouring South Africa.

Some of the cooking oil producing firms in Zimbabwe include United Refineries, ETG Parrogate, Surface Investments, Olivine and Willowton.