Nigeria spent a total of $1.4 billion on Importation of palm oil into the country, according to Global import data from the United States Department of Agriculture.
It states that Nigeria imported a total of 2.04 million tonnes of palm oil between 2014 and the first few months of 2019.
The statistics showed that the country imported 506,000 tonnes valued at $376.3m in 2014 and 263,000 tonnes valued at $174.4m in 2015.
In 2016, the nation imported 298,000 tonnes of palm oil worth $219.2m while in 2017, 302,000 tonnes valued at $226.7m were imported.
In 2018, the country imported 330,000 tonnes of palm oil valued at $210.7m while the first few months of 2019 witnessed the importation of 350,000 tonnes valued at $239.4m.
During the five-year span, average global price for palm oil ranged between $743.7 per tonne and $683.9/tonne.
Nigeria imports palm oil from Malaysia in Asia and Cote d’Ivoire, Benin – two countries in West Africa neighbours of the country.
The importation of palm oil from the three countries makes up for supply shortfall of over 1.42 million tonnes.
Local consumption is put at 2.4 million tonnes while local production is put at 980,000 tonnes as of 2018.
Despite the shortfall in local production, local producers of palm oil have continued to record declining revenues.
Two major organised oil palm plantations listed on the Nigeria Stock Exchange, Okomu Oil and Presco, which reported a gross profit margin of more than 50 per cent and operating profit of 40 percent during the 2016 recession recently posted declining profits in the first half of 2019.
Presco’s profit was reported to have slowed down by 24 percent while Okomu’s plunged 57 per cent.