Bangladesh imported 17.77 lakh tonnes of edible oil and fat in 2013, which is the highest amount so far and 10.18 percent higher than the previous year, Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) said yesterday.
Of the import, 12.56 lakh tonnes were palm oil, it said. The increased use of oil in cooking and in food processing industries helped achieve the growth, according to the statement.
Imports of crude soybean oil fell but soybean import rose last year because of increased demand for soy meals at poultry feed mills.
Crude soybean oil import dropped 20.35 percent to 3.54 lakh tonnes in 2013 from a year ago, whereas soybean import rose 111 percent to 5.75 lakh tonnes from the previous year.
Imports of canola/mustard seeds also increased last year, as its local production fell short of domestic demand.
Bangladesh requires 18 lakh tonnes of oil and fat a year to meet its domestic demand, but produces only 1.80 lakh tonnes a year, according to an MPOC estimate.
Demand for oil and fat is rising because of population growth, economic advancement, changes in food habits and rising income of people in rural areas, the council said.
However, local production is not increasing considerably due to low productivity and scarcity of cultivable lands, it said. But the council predicts that import of oil and fats will rise in the coming years.