Zimbabwe’s cooking oil companies are seeking US$160m in the next 16 weeks to import crude oil and soyabeans, which is in short supply locally, Business Times can report.
The industry has not been accessing adequate foreign currency from the forex auction market to procure the critical raw materials.
Oil Expressers Association of Zimbabwe (OEAZ) president Busisa Moyo confirmed the development this week.
Moyo said the peak period for oil companies was between now and December.
He said it was critical that forex is made accessible to avoid shortages during this period.
“The sector need to generate and source US$75m per month for crude soya bean oil purchases, circa US$30m for soap fats and processing additives give us a total of US$160m,” Moyo said.
He said syabean stocks have depleted following the 70 000 tonnes that were harvested during the past summer cropping season.
According to Moyo, cooking oil capacity utilisation is expected to be around 50% by year-end from 20% two months ago. With the cooking oil producers requiring 20 000 tonnes per month, the country has 3.5 months’ supply.
Eggs, chicken, and pork availability will be negatively affected as these depend on soya meal as the base protein source.
This year no players had closed shop following the improved efficiency of the foreign currency auction system.
The country requires two million litres of cooking oil per week. Cooking oil companies require US$3m to acquire two million litres.
The cooking oil manufacturers will be forced to import raw materials and semi crude oil as the country is failing to produce enough sunflower and other cooking oil-producing crops.
This, therefore, gives pressure on the auction system to provide forex for crude oil imports.