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Palm oil ban in Sri Lanka: Is it sustainable?

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By Erandathie Pathiraja

Sri Lanka’s edible oil market has received considerable attention in recent weeks due to a series of events: the banning of palm oil importation in a bid to promote the coconut industry, detection of aflatoxins in imported coconut oil, importation of coconut kernel chips, issuing license for palm oil imports, and banning of oil palm cultivation.

The edible oil industry is important for Sri Lanka. Oils and fats are a major constituent of the typical Sri Lankan diet and a raw material in manufacturing, in particular the food manufacturing industry. According to the latest available data, there are around 5,057 establishments employing 332,828 workers in the formal food manufacturing sector which generate an annual output of approximately LKR 1.4 billion. This blog assesses the local edible oil market and its potential for import substitution.

Sri Lanka’s Edible Oil Market

The demand for domestic edible oils comes from two segments: households and industries. Data from the 2016 Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) of the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) show that an average household consumes 1.6 litres of fats and oils per month and the annual consumer demand is around 96,249 MT, with coconut oil being the main source of edible oil (Figure 1). Industrial demand in 2020 can be approximated to 167,372 MT.

This demand for edible oils in the country is met by locally produced oils as well as imported oils. Coconut oil and palm oil are the local edible oil sources. In 2020, total edible oil production was 44,326 MT. Coconut oil production was 19,759 MT which depends on annual coconut production. Crude palm oil and palm kernel oil production was 24, 567 according to the Coconut Development Authority (CDA). According to the CDA, the quantity of imported fats and oils in 2020 was 219,295 MT. A range of edible oils are imported to meet industrial demand and partially to meet household demand (Figure 2). The foreign exchange outflow in 2020 was LKR 37,378 million for edible oils imports.

Total edible oil supply during 2020 was 263, 621 MT both from local production (44, 326 MT) and imports (219,295). Around 83% of the requirement is met by imports, and industrial demand is nearly two-thirds of the total demand (Figure 3).

The available data show that it is difficult to meet the edible oil demand from the local supply. The average coconut production during the last five years was around 2,792 million nuts. Nearly 65-70% of the produce is consumed as fresh coconuts (1,800 million nuts). Processing industries utilise the remaining coconuts (around 1,000 million). Around 108,108 MT of coconut oil can be produced from 1,000 million nuts at the expense of export industries, yet 155,513 MT of excess demand has to be met. Palm oil is cultivated in 12,000 Ha which is expected to produce nearly 48,000 MT. Together, coconut and palm oil can be expected to supply 156,108 MT of edible oil, which is still short of 107,513 MT of oil required to meet the consumer and industry demand.

Way Forward

Given the current context, Sri Lanka cannot meet its edible oil demand as the coconut supply is not sufficient to meet the edible oil demand, and expansion of production is difficult in the short term. Imported edible oils are an essential ingredient in food manufacturing due to its unique properties and low cost. Therefore, facilitating importation is required to meet the local demand.

Sri Lanka spends around LKR 37 billion for edible oil imports, and looking for alternatives is a sensible solution. Rice bran oil is a potential byproduct of paddy milling and it does not demand extra land for cultivation. Sri Lanka has to invest in utilising this potential resource. Measures to achieve optimum productivity from existing coconut lands are vital to reduce oil imports.



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ICC’s Oceanfront Galle completed on time amidst Covid-19 restrictions

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Oceanfront Galle structure constructions have been completed on time, amidst the restrictions imposed by the authorities to contain COVID 19 pandemic. Nevertheless, ICC has taken initiatives to apply for COC in the beginning of June 2021.

The home owners and potential investors were invited to inspect on the construction progress of Oceanfront condominiums in Galle while experiencing the beautiful sunset by the Galle coast. ICC has conceptualized OFC Galle to have a view of the clear ocean from all possible angles featuring a fully equipped gym, a double floored spa and “Sunset” restaurant with beautiful views of the ocean.

Allowing investors to seamlessly enjoy the returns of OFC, ICC has introduced an all-inclusive rental management system which offers end-to-end solutions.

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Major-value stocks decline,three companies prop up ASPI

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne

Stock trading activities in the Colombo Stock Exchange(CSE) was subdued throughout yesterday as all major value-stocks declined in prices. Three companies; namely LOLC Development Finance (NIFL) Carsons and Bukit Darah kept the All Share Price Index positive, stock market analysts said.

Hence both indices showed mixed reactions. All Share Price Index was up by 16.98 points up and S&P SL20 down by 40.86 points. Turnover stood at Rs 1.94 billion with a single crossing. The crossing took place in HNB (Non Voting), which crossed 330,000 shares to the tune of Rs 36.3 million and its share price traded at Rs 110.

In the retail market top five companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were Expolanka Rs 247 million (4.9 million shares traded), Bukit Darah Rs 156.7 million (450,500 shares traded), LOLC Rs 145.5 million (365,000 shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 128.5 million (21 million shares traded) and HNB (Non Voting) Rs 109.3 million (993,000 shares traded).

When Bukit Darah share price appreciated by 25 percent or Rs 51.25 from its initial trading price of Rs 279.50 to Rs 355, its holding company Carson Plc  share price also appreciated in parallel to its. Carsons Plc share price appreciated by 18 percent or Rs 52. Its share price started trading at Rs 293 and at the end of the day it shot upto Rs 345.

Further, NIFL being a low float company its share price increased by 25 percent or Rs 51.25. Its share price started trading at Rs 205 and at the end of the day it moved to Rs 256.25. These companies positively contributed 75 points to the All Share Price Index. Carsons contributed 28 points, Bukit Darah 28 points and NIFL 19 points to the All Share Price Index.

NIFL or LOLC Development Finance Company  has emerged as the most valuable finance company in terms of market capitalization. During the last seven sessions it’s share price appreciated by 261 percent or 3.6 times. The share price staryed trading at Rs 71 seven days ago and today it has moved up to Rs 256.25.

 

 

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People’s Bank Dankotuwa branch moves to new premises

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Opening of the People’s Bank Dankotuwa Branch at the new location which offers added convenience to its customers

 

People’s Bank Dankotuwa Branch moved to a new location recently. The opening ceremony of the new premises was attended by People’s Bank Chief Executive Officer/ General Manager Ranjith Kodituwakku.

The new spacious premises offers added convenience to customers along with a full range of services backed by the latest digital banking technology.

People’s Bank Deputy General Manager (Recoveries) Lionel Galagedara, Regional Manager(Puttalam) K.A.A.S Peiris, Assistant Regional Manager S.A.M.L Sirimanne, Dankotuwa Branch Manager D.M Liyanage, customers, also participated at the event.

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