OEAZ seeks US$11m to oil industry

LIVINGSTONE MARUFU

The Oil Expressers Association of Zimbabwe (OEAZ) is in the hunt for US$11m for soyabeans growing during the 2020/2021 summer cropping season as it moves to boost output and reduce crude oil imports.

The push to increase output comes as the country is spending US$300m yearly on soyabeans and crude oil imports.

It tallies with the government’s import substitution thrust to reduce the import bill and generate more foreign currency to oil the economy OEAZ president Busisa Moyo told Business Times that the country should come up with robust soyabeans production to be self-sufficient.

“We are seeking US$11m from the financial institutions to plant 10,000 hectares of soya beans during the upcoming agriculture season as we move to reduce pressure on the fiscus to import soya beans and crude oil,” Moyo said.

“We project to get over 25,000 tonnes of soyabeans output.”

The cooking oil industry requires US$45m up to year end to import crude oil and soyabeans to maintain the current cooking oil supply in the market.

OEAZ needs US$30m to procure soyabeans for cooking oil and cattle feed and US$15m for crude oil between now and December to maintain current cooking oil supply as well as averting cooking oil shortages during the festive season.

Government has been pulling all stops to secure the raw materials.

In August, the producer price more than doubled to above ZWL$35,000 per metric tonne from ZWL$17,000 per tonne.

This saw the price of cooking oil rising to ZWL$245 per 2 litre bottle.

According to OEAZ, cooking oil capacity utilisation has risen to above 30% from 20% last month. Soyabeans production went down by 20% to 40,000 tonnes from 60,000 tonnes last year.

He said this year’s 40,000 tonne output is just a two-month soyabeans requirement for the oil producers.

This implies that cooking oil producers require 20 000 tonnes per month.

The cooking oil industry capacity utilisation has risen to above 30% from 20% in August.

Local soyabeans production went down by 20% to 40 000 tonnes from 60 000 tonnes last year.

He said this year’s 40 000 tonne output is just a two-month soyabeans requirement for the oil producers.

This implies that cooking oil producers require 20 000 tonnes per month.

Cooking oil prices have stabilised at ZWL$240 per 2litre cooking oil bottle in the past two months.

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