STATEMENT ON THE STATUS OF EDIBLE OIL SUPPLIES DATED 25TH SEPTEMBER 2017
1.The 0il Expressers Association of Zimbabwe (OEAZ) is made up of seven members that supply at least 95% of the edible oils consumed in Zimbabwe,
2. The sector employs over 1, 300 people, directly and the factories of its members are located in various parts of the country.
3. The country requires 8,500mt (metric tons) of edible oils per month and 10,000mt of Soya Bean Meal (aka De-Solventised Oil Cake or Soya Oil Cake) used primarily for poultry feed.
4. OEAZ, members require al least USS5m per week (US$20m per month) to import soya beans, crude edible oils and other raw materials to satisfy the requirements national demand for oil and related products adequately.
5. For the 28 weeks ended 31 July 2017, OEAZ, members have received US$61m which is US$2.2m per week (US$8 8m per month) which is 44% of what the sector requires to satisfy national demand.
6. In the last two months, foreign currency allocations have been further constrained to less than US$1.5m per week (i.e 30% of the sector’s actual foreign currency allocation requirement), this is possibly linked to reduced tobacco sales inflows et al.
7. The above foreign currency allocation levels mean that OEAZ members’ credit lines for raw materials have now reached maximum levels and members can no longer access raw materials on credit. from their foreign suppliers as they normally do.
8. Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has advised the OEAZ that foreign currency is in start supply but has assured the association of its commitment to support the sector based on available foreign currency resources.
9. It should be curled that the shortages in certain outlets in urban centres can be averted by immediately the extending of RB supported letters of credit to OEAZ to allow for the importation of adequate raw materials and other inputs. This is being worked on.
10 The 0EAZ also wishes to advise that input and raw material costs have escalated dramatically in the last few months leading to price changes as local suppliers and service providers, in particular, have adjusted their costs upwards in light of the prevailing economic. environment 11. line giiirlionctugdassZibli:o(
11. The poor liquidity and scarcity of foreign currency has meant that fast-moving consumer goods such as edible oils have become a substitute for cash as a store of value to the informal trade and fuelling higher demand and price inflation.
12. The OEAZ is committed to ensuring that the Zimbabwean public has adequate oil supplies and related products for its dietary requirements at all times.
13 The OEAZ acknowledges that the long-term solution is to increase soya bean production from the current 30,000 metric tonnes for the 2016/17 season to at least 150,000 metric tonnes per annum in the next 3-5 years and value chain reconstruction measures to achieve this through Government Initiatives (e.g. Command Soya and the Presidential Input Scheme), Development Partner & IFI Programmes, as well as members embarking on contract and direct farming initiatives supported by various financial institutions and agricultural organisations (i.e multipronged solutions), are underway.
14. In spite of the constrained availability of foreign currency, we have not had any notable shortage of edible oils for normal consumption in the last few years and the public is therefore advised not to engage in panic buying, hoarding and speculative purchases which create the impression of acute shortages and the risk of holding a perishable commodity such as edible oil as a store of value.
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