Despite the high exchange rate and its price, Nigeria has imported 450,000 tons of crude palm oil valued at N116.3billion ($323.1 million) since the beginning of the year, it was learnt at the weekend.
The shipment was increased by 12 per cent as global price hit $718 per metric ton.
The price of the commodity, which was $663 per metric ton in July, was increased to $718 per ton this month (November) based on high demand by indigenous manufacturers.
The country domestic production currently stands at 970,000 metric tons, while demand is 2.7million tons, leaving a deficit of 1.73million.
Findings from the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) revealed that Apapa Bulk Terminal Limited (ABTL) at Lagos Port Complex took delivery of 4,000 tons from Lady Dahlia in the first week of this month, while Hamour Endurance is still jostling for a berthing space to discharge about 5,000 tons at JosepDam terminal, Tincan Island Port, Lagos.
In August this year, three vessels berthed at the Lagos Port Complex and Tincan with 32, 483 tons of the essential commodity.
At ABTL were GSW Forward and Marios G ships, laden with 16,300 tons and 11,483 tons respectively. Another ship Theresa Success, investigation showed, has also offloaded 5, 000 tons of the product at JosepDam terminal in Lagos.
Findings also revealed that between January and April this year, 50,010 tons of the commodity was shipped to the country.
For instance, according to imvestigation at the Lagos Port, SeaPrice ship discharged 15,000 tons in January; Chemtrans Havel ship, 10,700 tons in February; Star Ploeg ship, 16,400 tons in March and Mid Nature ship, 8,000 tons in April this year.
Following the surge and high demand for palm oil by Nigeria and Ghana this year, a shipping line, CMA CGM in August this year, imposed a new cargo protection service for shipments of the commodity into the country.
The protection service attracted an automatic prepaid surcharge of $10 per container.
It would be recalled that the shipping line noted that the surcharge was a new tailor-made cargo protection service for palm oil shipments exported from Indonesia and Malaysia.
However, the company said all palm oil exporters would be compensated with up to $10,000 in the event of loss or damage of cargo during transportation.
It added that export from Indonesia and Malaysia ports to other Africa countries would attract a prepaid surcharge of $10 per 20 feet container and $10 per 40 feet container.
Nigeria was the largest producer of palm oil in the world with a market share of 43per cent in the 1960s. But currently, it has a world share of 2.9per cent, with Indonesia leading by 33million metric tonnes, Malaysia, 19.8million metric tonnes; Thailand, 2million; Colombia, 1.108million metric tons and Nigeria, 970,000 metric tonnes.
From:Thenation online news